MS 190: Authorship is the course website for the Fall 2006 Media Studies senior seminar at Pomona College in Claremont, California.
Random tangent of the day - DIVORCE!
Well, this definitely isn't a very media studiesy post but it is cultural studies and that's part of what we do so I thought I'd write it anyway. So I'm sure this idea isn't actually as original as I thought it was when it came to me this morning but for some reason I've been thinking theoretically about divorce lately (fun stuff!)and I've come to a little conclusion I think. My current thoughts are that the increase in the divorce rate actually could have been predicted not only based on changing attitudes about "till death do us part", a decrease in the stigma of being a divorcee, and a decrease in religious ties, but also from trends that started a long, long time ago...
At one time, pretty much everyone grew up in a little village and died in that little village. It may have been a very big village, say Athens, (ok, I guess that would be a city really) but wherever they were, moving wasn't something people often did. As time passed - the industrial revolution took place, globalization began to set in, transportation became feasible, the majority of the people in society no longer directly depended on the agricultural industry in order to survive, and there started to be more easy exit and entrance into different markets â€“ people are no longer tied to their hometowns or their jobs. Their relationships with the people in the town in which they live and their attachment to the town itself are two of the biggest things that make a person stay in one place. Consequently, people have had to take on a new idea of loyalty and attachment in order to take advantage of better opportunities elsewhere, adventures to be had, or preferences regarding location. People began moving around more in general and I would argue that in turn, the duration of friendships and relationships with coworkers began to shorten. My hypothesis is that in taking on this new idea of loyalty and attachment, people have come to view marriage and divorce differently making divorce far less of crisis than it was under the old view.
When you live your entire life in one small village your idea of friendship is very different. I even encountered this while studying abroad. One of my close friends in Spain had grown up in a fairly small village and his group of close friends had remained the same throughout his childhood and into adulthood. He is 25 now. His idea of friendship seemed to run much deeper than in the American view of friendship (perhaps this is just a coincidence, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were some correlation here that supports my hypothesis).