ERIC Number: ED207671
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Jun
Reference Count: 0
Conjugal Succession and the American Kinship System.
Furstenberg, Frank F., Jr.
Although not the preferred type of family formation, conjugal succession is now an accepted, if not expected, alternative to continuous marriage in the United States. This new trend appears to be related to a shift in the meaning of matrimony. Previously, marriage was part of a cultural pattern of transitions and as such was closely timed to movement out of the household, transition from virginity, establishment of a new household, and entrance to parenthood. Marriage has now become more voluntary, flexible, and conditional--in short, tailored to fit a less uniform and predictable life course. Evidence indicates that successful second marriages have most of the same features as successful first marriages. But if the pattern of conjugal succession has not altered marriage expectations, it certainly has changed the structure of marriage for most remarried couples. A new family form has emerged which has been called the binuclear, blended, or reconstituted family. While very little is known about how formerly married and currently married partners share the responsibility of raising children, it seems plausible that remarried couples must invent a code of etiquette for conducting relationships with others to whom they have no legal or biological ties. (In conclusion, findings of a few rare studies focusing on aspects of parenting, social relationships, and child rearing in the context of the binuclear family are summarily reported, and a current national longitudinal survey of the impact of marital disruption on children and families is briefly discussed. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Kinship Role; Parenting; Remarriage