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2014 - American Sociological Association Annual Meeting Pages: unavailable || Words: 11133 words || 
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1. Avishai, Orit. and Randles, Jennifer. "Saving Marriage Culture One Marriage at a Time: Rationalizing the Marriage and Relationship Education Movement" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Hilton San Francisco Union Square and Parc 55 Wyndham San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, Aug 15, 2014 Online <PDF>. 2019-10-20 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p723310_index.html>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Drawing on our respective multi-year ethnographic studies of the American marriage and relationship education (MRE) movement, we find that interpersonal and institutional models of marriage infuse marriage politics in contradictory ways that undermine the goals of both movement and policy efforts to address various social problems associated with family instability. We analyze three empirical moves that the movement utilizes to rationalize MRE as a non-partisan, non-ideological solution to various social problems related to family formation: 1) teaching evidence-based relational knowledge to address the deinstitutionalization of marriage; 2) framing individual responsibility in family-formation decisions as a learned capacity for rational emotional experiences; and 3) emphasizing the purported taxpayer savings associated with MRE. We argue that these rationalization strategies point to a larger disconnect in the movement between the institutional framing of marital breakdown as a society-wide problem that demands collective and communal responses and the individualistic framing of the solution that promotes investing public resources in skills-based approaches to improving interpersonal couple dynamics. This contradiction helps explain why MRE has not been able to address the larger problems it claims to, such as poverty, despite the fact that some programs are helpful for enhancing individuals’ and couples’ skills and relationship quality.

2014 - American Sociological Association Annual Meeting Pages: unavailable || Words: 6684 words || 
Info
2. Cohen, Philip. and Pepin, Joanna. "Unequal Marriage: The Incidence of Marriage among Black and White Women across Marriage Markets, 2009-2011" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Hilton San Francisco Union Square and Parc 55 Wyndham San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, Aug 15, 2014 Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2019-10-20 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p724798_index.html>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Despite its lackluster track record, marriage promotion remains central to U.S. welfare policy. But research on marriage markets – especially the relative shortage of available men for Black women to marry, first reported in the 1980s – has not figured prominently in recent policy debates. To reinvestigate this issue with new, more recent data, we examine how the quantity and quality of unmarried men contributes to the likelihood of marriage for Black and White women, for the first time using the marital events data from the American Community Survey. We incorporate both unmarried sex ratios and the relative status of unmarried men and women within each racial group, using multilevel mixed linear regression models for Black and White women. We find higher marriage rates in markets with more single men, and in those in which women have fewer resources relative to men. Further, because White women’s markets are much more favorable for marriage than Black women’s are – with more single men, and more single men with high levels of resources – the marriage market variables account for a substantial share of the Black-White difference in marriage rates. In addition, education has strong positive effects on marriage for both groups. We conclude that marriage promotion efforts are targeting women – Black women, and those with low levels of education – who face structural barriers to marriage in their local marriage markets.

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