Relevant, focused and accessible this book will provide students with an indispensible guide to the central concepts of family studies.

Coupledom: Marriage/Partnership/Cohabitation

Coupledom: Marriage/partnership/cohabitation


Couple (dyadic) relationships may be termed marriage, partnership or coupledom, generally involving sexual coupling and often childbearing. They are usually expected to have some durability, and may be analysed as institutions or as personal experiences.


Durable relationships that are formed around sexual coupling, which may or may not be linked to childbearing and/or marriage, vary greatly across cultures. Some suggest that it is impossible to identify a universal definition of marriage (Rapport and Overing, 2007), and that marriage can be understood only in the context of the gender order of any particular society; that is, the overall understanding and pattern of relationships between people of different genders. How coupledom is understood, the meanings given to human reproduction and whether the sexual and/or childbearing ...

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