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Family Matters article

June 2006

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(Re)-forming marriage in Australia?

Michele Simons

In the previous edition of Family Matters, Robyn Parker discussed international perspectives on the retreat from marriage, the growth of cohabitation, and whether marriage is valued, concluding with some thoughts on the future of marriage. In this article the author and Rosalie Pattenden were invited to respond to the issues raised in the article by Parker. The author of this article offers some points of discussion to inform further debate on the future of marriage and family life in Australia. She concludes that marriage and family life are becoming more complex social phenomena as individuals seek to develop meaningful intimate relationships in the midst of social and economic change and at a time when individual rights and freedom of choice are important cultural values.

For better or for worse: An Australian counsellor's perspective on trends in composition of families.

Rosalie Pattenden

This article looks at the change in the meaning of marriage and the place it has in people's lives. The author examines the need for in depth Australian research to determine what marriage and cohabitation means to people and how it influences their choices and long term relationships.

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