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Elaborated essay plan

Introduction

Problem of rising divorce

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures

Argument of essay - that socio-economic explanations are the more comprehensive.

Explanation 1 (Type - legal)

Summarise

Bilton et al. - Changes in divorce rates can be best explained by changes in legal system.

Evaluation

Problem is that this type of explanation does not consider why laws have changed in the first place. More underlying explanation needed.

Explanation 2 (Type - socio-economic)

Summarise

Nicky Hart - Changes in divorce rates can be best explained by fundamental changes in society (mainly economic changes).

Evaluation

This explanation cannot account for all cases of divorce. But is more probing than narrow legal explanation.

Implications of explanations

(What types of solutions exist?)

Implications of explanation 1 (legal)

If rises in divorce are a consequence of liberal divorce laws, obvious way to stem rise is to make divorce less obtainable. However - not a genuine solution, also a solution not favoured by Australians.

Implications of explanation 2 (socio-economic)

If marital conflict can be traced to changes in the capitalist system and economic circumstances of family, there is a need for social policies that support disadvantaged families. However governments reluctant to fund social welfare programs.

Conclusion

Which explanation is most helpful?

Restatement of argument - socio-economic explanations provide the more useful framework. Also the need for a historical perspective - family instability is not unique to the present.

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