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Struggling working class ‘less likely to marry’

People in manual blue collar jobs are now less likely to marry than wealthier people due to financial strains, a study has suggested.

Job insecurity and low wages mean many people in manual work feel they are struggling to meet their own needs and therefore cannot contemplate the commitment of marriage according to the research, based on interviews by researchers at Virginia and Harvard Universities.

Sarah Corse is a sociologist at the University of Virginia. She said: ‘Working-class people with insecure work and few resources, little stability and no ability to plan for a foreseeable future become concerned with their own survival and often become unable to imagine being able to provide materially and emotionally for others.”

She added:

“Insecure work changes peoples’ non-work lives. Marriage is becoming a distinctive social institution marking middle-class status.”

Her Harvard colleague Jennifer M Silva said people living in insecure environments had greater difficulty trusting potential partners.

“Marriage has lost its relevance as a marker of adulthood.”

People in middle class positions, by contrast, tend to have greater employment security and so are more likely to able to commit to marriage.

The researchers polled a representative sample of over 300 people in both blue collar and middle class jobs.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Tulsa Divorce Lawyer Matt Ingham says:

    Here in Tulsa, USA family law practicioners are seeing a rise in number of clients who cohabitated with their significant other and even built a family together with their significant other and yet they never legally consummated the matrimonial bonds.

    This trend seems to be particularly true amongst the younger generation of clients who are members of the working class.

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