Academic journal article Human Ecology

COHABITATION NATION: Professor's Book Investigates Pre-Marriage Living Arrangements

Academic journal article Human Ecology

COHABITATION NATION: Professor's Book Investigates Pre-Marriage Living Arrangements

Article excerpt

More young unmarried Americans are living together than ever before, but not much is known about why couples decide to take on this romantic rite of passage and how socioeconomic status affects their decisions.

More young unmarried Americans are living together than ever before, but not much is known about why couples decide to take on this romantic rite of passage and how socioeconomic status affects their decisions.

"Cohabitation Nation: Gender, Class, and the Remaking of Relationships" takes an intimate look inside the lives of more than 60 young couples. Sassler's co-author is Amanda Jayne Miller of the University of Indianapolis.

Although the authors have based the book on rigorous research, they've written it in an accessible, entertaining style. The book draws on Sassler and Miller's research on social class and cohabitation in the United States.

From 2004 to 2006, they did in-depth interviews with 31 middle-class couples and 30 couples they labeled "service class." The service class couples worked in fields such as data entry, telemarketing, retail, and food service; their education encompassed a high school degree and, in some instances, college coursework. …

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