The US Marriage Schism

And while we’re on the subject of marriage, I came across this terrific diagnosis of marriage in America today, from Andrew J. Cherlin:

Americans believe in two contradictory ideals. The first is the importance of marriage: we are more marriage-oriented than most other Western countries. The second is the importance of living a personally fulfilling life that allows us to grow and develop as individuals—call it individualism. Now, you can find other countries that place a high value on marriage, such as Italy where most children are born to married couples and there are fewer cohabiting relationships. And you can find countries that place a high value on individualism, such as Sweden. But only in the United States do you find both.

Read the whole interview. It’s a great spotlight on where marriage is in today’s world. It looks like the book would be a great read, especially for anyone who considers marriage to be this unchanging, immovable cultural object.