chapter  4
The Neglect of the Marriage Divide and Disadvantaged Cohorts
Pages 26

The marriage divide is most obvious in the United States, although it is visible in the UK and Australia, where underprivileged groups face similar challenges. This chapter demonstrates that the marriage divide persists because of conflicts in values, economic factors and neoliberal policies when setting policy agendas. It argues that women's greater independence and the diminishing opportunities for blue-collar men influence the marriage. Neoliberal-initiated welfare reform policies aimed at reducing public costs have particularly hit hard on low-income families, thereby exacerbating the marriage divide. The Conservative Liberal Democrat Coalition Government's proposal to implement tax allowances for married couples is a specific example of the marriage divide. The policy goal of marriage as a remedy for family problems demonstrates the clash of values when considering disadvantaged groups or people from a lower socio-economic background. The marriage divide as a marker of privilege has implications for parents and children when their wellbeing depends on struggling to gather available resources.