Trim: 6¼ x 9⅜
978-1-4985-1292-3 • Hardback • April 2015 • $109.00 • (£84.00)
978-1-4985-1294-7 • Paperback • March 2017 • $51.99 • (£40.00)
978-1-4985-1293-0 • eBook • April 2015 • $49.00 • (£38.00)
Gary R. Lee is professor emeritus of sociology at Bowling Green State University.
1. The Marriage Conundrum
2. The Retreat from Marriage
3. Marriage and Psychological Well-Being
4. Marriage and Physical Health
5. Marriage and Economic Well-Being
6. Marriage and the Well-Being of Children
7. Who Is Not Marrying? Demographic and Economic Characteristics of the Unmarried
8. Demographic and Economic Explanations
9. Why Did This Happen?
10. Choices We Make vs. Choices We Have
The Limits of Marriage is an important book, and it deserves a large audience…. Lee is right to remind us that marrying (or not marrying) is not a matter of making good or bad choices but about the choices many of us don’t really have. His goal, in the end, is not to ‘’promote marriage’ or extoll its virtues. It is to promote greater opportunity—to expand the choice set—that will allow us to pursue our aspirations (or not) for a fulfilling marriage and satisfying family life. In this, Gary Lee succeeds with flying colors. The Limits of Marriage has my strongest recommendation.
— Contemporary Sociology
Gary Lee sifts through the ideology and hyperbole of a large, complicated, and often polarized literature on why people don’t get married or stay married. He convincingly argues that it’s not a matter of American culture run amok or the lack of knowledge about the benefits of marriage. It’s not about bad choices but about the choices we don’t have. It’s about bad jobs and growing income inequality.
— Daniel T. Lichter, Cornell University
This book is a fascinating account of why marriage matters – or doesn’t. It is a must-read for policymakers and scholars interested in families or inequality. The Limits of Marriage offers up not only a thoughtful analysis about the potential of marriage for solving poverty and improving child wellbeing, but a compelling and nuanced interpretation of the retreat from marriage among the disadvantaged in our society.
— Pamela J. Smock, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor