Humans logo

Why is the divorce rate so high now?

Single-parent families further increased

By xiaohuPublished about a year ago 5 min read

This is a worldwide problem. In short: the short-term costs of maintaining a household are too high and too low value for money. The ubiquity of cheap teats has dimmed the happiness of marriage. Watching Douyin and playing King of Glory for a day is a big difference between energy and pleasure compared to taking a child for an hour. The rising cost of housing price, education and medical care makes the family operating cost higher and higher, and the support of six wallets of the family is increasingly needed. Individual marriages become a contest of families and clans. On the contrary, the family's original anti-risk function becomes less important as social welfare improves. Information flow and transportation are becoming more convenient, and the value of the family to the individual is becoming less and less. Instead, the negative emotions of parents, couples, children and so on are increasingly recognized. As housing prices soar, marriage rates plunge So is the concept of family about to become a thing of the past? But it's not. The family and marriage also serve a crucial function: as vehicles for the intergenerational accumulation of wealth and social resources. In the United States, it often takes several generations to raise a person to enter the upper class. The same is true of families from Kennedy to Trump. It takes decades of hard work in Chinatown for first-generation immigrants to get their children ahead. This is because class mobility tends to take place in an intergenerational fashion, so the role of the family is delayed, unpredictable and therefore difficult to influence on ongoing marriage decisions. This point is just like buying insurance, the more money, the more attention, the more difficult to make a decision, the last is polarization. Thus, as family relationships tend to disintegrate, intergenerational resource accumulation at the middle and lower levels of the pyramid is interrupted. After the reform and opening up, China entered the three decades of the most rapid class mobility in history. An important reason is that the first three decades of social reform and family planning have resulted in a generally stable family structure. On the basis of this stable structure, education, experience and resources can be passed down, triggering the qualitative change that breaks through the stratum. Similarly, one of the biggest problems facing black Americans is the lack of family culture. White children from middle-class families are always more likely to maintain their class status than black children. Blacks are more likely to be stuck at the bottom of society or to slip from the middle class. Now: as it becomes harder to maintain marriages and families, intergenerational mobility will stop. Above the middle level, there are many ways to accumulate intergenerational resources -- stocks, power, insurance, foundations, social connections. The upper classes further secured their resources and channels through repeated marriages. However, for the middle and lower classes, without the carrier of intergenerational accumulation, individuals have to face the barrier of consanguineous relations in the upper class to move from one class to another. At the same time, decisions on social security, on which individuals depend, are in the hands of the upper classes. Europe and the United States have strict and costly laws on divorce, but they have not stopped divorce rates from rising. Stable families eventually became a luxury for the few at the bottom and a necessity for the upper class. The growing trend toward unmarried, single-parent families has coincided with a growing sense of family awareness among the newly minted upper middle class. In many cities and towns in China, there used to be a year-end family ritual to worship their ancestors. Preside over and led by the chief of the family, young and old in order, men and women divided into groups. The ritual was much the same everywhere. In the past, there were some big family shrines in towns with matsuri or offerings. The so-called sacrifice is that after building the ancestral temple, the families agree not to purchase the sacrificial fields, but invest the donation into a firm for joint stock or equity management, or lend it to a firm, and the interest is used to buy offerings and repair the ancestral temple house. Large-scale sacrificial activities often need to be initiated by core figures who master certain resources, and become the platform and opportunity for resource integration. This economic activity centered on sacrifice is often the embodiment of family economic strength. For those who host and finance sacrifice, it is not only a source of funds, but also a source of contacts. In modern European and American countries, although there is no such family ritual as sacrifice, the family foundation and the family industry can share peer resources and carry on the inheritance between generations. In many systems of local enterprises and institutions in our country, various families have married each other in various systems, and it has formed a network of consanguineous relations from the base to leadership. The "family" of grassroots power is a cancer of political ecology. From the "rocket promotion" in Xiangtan, Hunan Province, to the "daughter-in-law" incident in Shanxi Province, to the "succession for father" in Jieyang, Guangdong Province, etc., all of these are worthy of the name of the "official family" phenomenon. What is more serious is that such things are no longer limited to a certain area of individual cases, but have appeared layer upon layer of parasitic pattern. The way of "hereditary" has also changed from the common single-line "inheritance" between father and son, mother and daughter to the trend of "one person wins the way, the chicken and the dog rise to heaven". For example, in the case of "daughter-in-law" in Shanxi Province, at least 15 family members worked as officials in Yuncheng city. As the society continues to divide and members become more and more dispersed, even when a family is formed, relations between relatives are becoming more and more easily alienated and the sense of family is becoming weaker and weaker. On the other hand, once the family-oriented trend takes shape in the middle and upper classes, the family structure attached to it will be more stable, and the intergenerational resource accumulation will be more efficient and difficult to break. In a word, stable families and marriages will become increasingly unaffordable luxuries for ordinary people.


About the Creator

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.