Marriage and marriage breakdown in late twentieth-century Scotland

Thomson, Andrea (2014) Marriage and marriage breakdown in late twentieth-century Scotland. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Focussing on Scotland, this thesis adds a new perspective to the existing discussion surrounding marriage and marriage breakdown in the late twentieth century. It is the lived reality of marriage and marriage breakdown which is a key focus, using oral history and a range of contemporary and archival source materials. Whilst a renewed discursive emphasis on the 'companionate marriage' in the immediate post-war period is evident, in line with the social reconstruction ethos of the period, there existed alongside such enthusiasm a number of alternative, and often conflicting, contemporary discourses. With significant implications for marriage and family relations, sociologists and historians identify a further profound discursive shift as occurring during the 1970s, emphasising the increased availability of contraception, the emergence of second-wave feminism in Britain and landmark equality legislation as crucial factors intertwined with this.

Perceived advances in terms of both mainstream ideology and legislation, including, for example, a revived feminist consciousness and the 1976 Divorce (Scotland) Act, did not influence marriage in a discursive vacuum but instead are likely to have integrated and competed not only with generic ideals regarding appropriate gender roles but also embedded local patterns of gender relations. Oral history is a particularly appropriate methodology with which to address this topic as it permits an otherwise unattainable insight into the experience of day-to-day life. Additional source materials drawn on include parliamentary, ecclesiastical and sociological commentary.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Marriage, Marriage breakdown, Gender history, Social history, Twentieth century, Scotland
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Economic and Social History
Supervisor's Name: Gordon, Professor Eleanor J. and Hughes, Dr. Annmarie
Date of Award: 2014
Embargo Date: 14 November 2021
Depositing User: Miss Andrea Thomson
Unique ID: glathesis:2014-5764
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2014 12:33
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2020 06:21

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