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Alone Together: How Marriage in America Is Changing Hardcover – January 15, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0674022812 ISBN-10: 0674022815

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (January 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674022815
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674022812
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.3 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,274,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Alone Together is an immensely useful book. It deals with an important topic by drawing on a unique data set, analyzing and interpreting the data in a very sophisticated fashion and presenting the results in clear, straightforward prose. The book is dense with useful and interesting information, and the authors have made a very important contribution. They are masters at what they do.
--Norval Glenn, The University of Texas at Austin

This is the best and most comprehensive examination available of how the institution of marriage in America has changed over the past few decades.
--David Popenoe (International Journal of Sociology of the Family)

One of the most comprehensive studies of marriage.
--Sue Shellenbarger (Wall Street Journal 2008-07-02)

The authors find increasing separateness in aspects of marital life, along with maintained or even increased stability and commitment to the relationship. The details hold as much interest as the big picture...[A] landmark, authoritative, complex but readable study...This book offers a wealth of useful information to professional helpers, clergy, judges, policy makers, and general readers. A cornucopia of data and ideas, it is a boon to everyone who wants to know what is going on at home in America.
--E. James Lieberman (PsycCritiques 2007-12-26)

[Alone Together] makes an important and timely contribution to the current debate about the meaning of marriage in American society...For teachers and researchers in marriage and family studies, this book is an extremely valuable resource.
--Susan D. Stewart (American Journal of Sociology 2008-09-01)

About the Author

Paul R. Amato is Professor of Sociology at the Pennsylvania State University.

Alan Booth is Professor of Sociology at the Pennsylvania State University.

David R. Johnson is Professor of Sociology at the Pennsylvania State University.

Stacy J. Rogers is Professor of Sociology at the Pennsylvania State University.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By QK Shopper on May 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Amato, Booth, Johnson, and Rogers have written a thorough, scholarly, and smooth reading book that documents important changes in the state (and nature) of marriages in the U. S. over the past 20 years (particularly, comparing data in 1980 and 2000). Their work covers a wide range of dimensions with particular focus on things like social connection (by couples) with others (friends, family, institutions, organizations, etc.) and the implications of these connections. Their work also encompasses changes in attitudes about marriage and divorce in this period of time, as well as changes in roles and expectations of partners in marriage.

The book notes the increased isolation of couples from others, particularly as couples engaged in shared activities and commitments. Couples do best when engaged in some significant shared commitments outside their relatoinship, such as to groups, clubs, church, and efforts to help others. So, this trend toward growing isolation is concerning. They note the one exception to this trend is in involvement in religious organizations, particularly churches. There is a movement toward increased rather than decreased activities of this nature in this period of time.

One of the sets of findings that I found particularly fascinating is that attitudes towards life long marriage and inhibition of divorce grew in the direction of traditional beliefs with regard to marital commitment. I had not expected this finding (I am a psychologist engaged in marital research and know the authors and their work well). However, it was not hard to "expect" it once one sees it. Specifically, the divorce rate per 1000 people in the U. S.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"Marital commitment lasts only as long as people are happy and feel that their needs are being met."

Public attitudes to marriage have changed dramatically since the 1960s and it seems from some studies marital happiness declines the longer you are married. So what happened to happily ever after? This book sheds some light on how marriage changed from 1980 to 2000. The researchers/authors show that people are now more concerned with personal happiness and expect romance, companionship, emotional satisfaction and sexual fulfillment. Without these needs being met people tend to change partners. Since people are moving on to new partners the researchers also say that "most married couples today are happy." I'm not sure this is true because so many people are taking antidepressants and might be hiding their unhappiness.

Some interesting facts did appear while I was reading although if you have been reading marriage books for the last eleven years as I've been doing a lot of the information will be familiar to you. Like who doesn't know that cohabiting before marriage makes you more likely to get a divorce? This seems common knowledge these days. However, what you might not know is that couples who spend more time together report lower levels of conflict. This book also discusses reasons why a second marriage is more likely to fail than the first. There is also some information on marital violence and a lot of information on divorce proneness.

Overall this book will be helpful to authors who write books on marriage or to anyone who is overly curious about marriage in general. The authors even go so far as to predict where marriage is heading. It looks like we might come full circle especially since some states are promoting covenant marriages.

~The Rebecca Review
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful By S. Purcell on July 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
They give their statistics from a study they conducted from 1980-2000. It was a very interesting read. I would recommend to anyone!
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brittany Feffer on February 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book had a decent amount writing in it. For the price it is an okay book. Only get it if your using it for school.
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