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Ready, Willing, and Able to Divorce: An Economic and Cultural History of Divorce in Twentieth-Century Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History.
2011 (English)In: Journal of Family History, ISSN 0363-1990, E-ISSN 1552-5473, Vol. 36, no 2, 210-229 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study outlines a long history of divorce in Sweden, recognizing the importance of considering both economic and cultural factors in the analysis of marital dissolution. Following Ansley Coale, the authors examine how a framework of multiple theoretical constructs, in interaction, can be applied to the development toward mass divorce. Applying a long historical perspective, the authors argue that an analysis of gendered aspects of the interaction between culture and economics is crucial for the understanding of the rise of mass divorce. The empirical analysis finds support for a marked decrease in legal and cultural obstacles to divorce already during the first decades of the twentieth century. However, economic structures remained a severe obstacle that prohibited significant increases in divorce rate prior to World War II. It was only during the 1940s and 1960s, when cultural change was complemented by marked decreases in economic interdependence between spouses, that the divorce rate exhibited significant increases. The authors find that there are advantages to looking at the development of divorce as a history in which multiple empirical factors are examined in conjunction, recognizing that these factors played different roles during different time periods.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 36, no 2, 210-229 p.
Keyword [en]
divorce, twentieth century, Sweden, economic history, cultural history, gender studies
National Category
Economic History
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-69073DOI: 10.1177/0363199010395853ISI: 000288158200007OAI: diva2:475398
authorCount :2Available from: 2012-01-10 Created: 2012-01-10 Last updated: 2012-01-10Bibliographically approved

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