Ep.K029: 結婚如何成了社會優勢標誌? How Did Marriage Become a Mark of Privilege?

2021.01

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每日英語跟讀 Ep.K029: How Did Marriage Become a Mark of Privilege?

Marriage, which used to be the default way to form a family in the United States, regardless of income or education, has become yet another part of American life reserved for those who are most privileged.

Fewer Americans are marrying overall, and whether they do so is more tied to socioeconomic status than ever before. In recent years, marriage has sharply declined among people without college degrees, while staying steady among college graduates with higher incomes.

結婚曾經是美國人組織家庭想當然的方法,與個人收入多寡或教育程度無關,如今卻已成為美國人生活中保留給享有最大優勢者的另一個部分。

整體而言,結婚的美國人變少了,而且是否結婚也比以往任何時候,更與社會經濟地位息息相關。近幾年,沒有大學學位者結婚率銳減,收入較高的大學畢業生結婚率則維持穩定。

Currently, 26 percent of poor adults, 39 percent of working-class adults and 56 percent of middle- and upper-class adults are married, according to a research brief published from two think tanks, the American Enterprise Institute and Opportunity America.

In 1990, more than half of adults were married, with much less difference based on class and education: 51 percent of poor adults, 57 percent of working-class adults and 65 percent of middle- and upper-class adults were married.

根據兩家智庫「美國企業研究所」和「機會美國」公布的研究報告摘要,現今,26%的貧窮成人,39%的工人階級成人,以及56%的中產與上層階級成人屬於已婚族。

1990年,成人中已婚者超過半數,而且階級和教育造成的差異也小得多:51%的窮人,57%的工人階級和65%的中產和上層階級成人已婚。

A big reason for the decline: Unemployed men are less likely to be seen as marriage material.

“Women don’t want to take a risk on somebody who’s not going to be able to provide anything,” said Sharon Sassler, a sociologist at Cornell who published “Cohabitation Nation: Gender, Class, and the Remaking of Relationships” with Amanda Jayne Miller last month.

結婚率下降的一大原因:失業男性較不可能被看待成結婚的對象。

康乃爾大學社會學家雪倫.沙斯勒說:「女性不想在無法提供任何東西的男人身上冒險。」上個月,沙斯勒和亞曼達.珍.米勒共同出版了《同居國度:性別、階級,與關係重塑》一書。

As marriage has declined, though, childbearing has not, which means that more children are living in families without two parents and the resources they bring.

“The sharpest distinction in American family life is between people with a bachelor’s or not,” said Andrew Cherlin, a sociologist at Johns Hopkins and author of “Labor’s Love Lost: The Rise and Fall of the Working-Class Family in America.”

儘管如此,在結婚率降低之際,生育率卻未見下降,意謂有更多的兒童是在非雙親,也沒有他們所帶來的資源的家庭中生活。

約翰霍普金斯大學社會學家安德魯.契林說:「造成美國家庭生活最大差距的,是人們是否擁有大學學歷。」契林著有《勞工失去的愛:美國工人階級家庭的興衰》一書。

Just over half of adolescents in poor and working-class homes live with both their biological parents, compared with 77 percent in middle- and upper-class homes, according to the research brief, by W. Bradford Wilcox and Wendy Wang of the Institute for Family Studies. Thirty-six percent of children born to a working-class mother are born out of wedlock, versus 13 percent of those born to middle- and upper-class mothers.

The research brief defined “working class” as adults with an adjusted family income between the 20th and 50th percentiles, with high school diplomas but not bachelor’s degrees. Poor is defined as those below the 20th percentile or without high school diplomas, and the middle and upper class as those above the 50th percentile or with college degrees.

據「家庭研究中心」W.布萊德福.威爾科克斯與溫蒂.王所做的研究摘要,與生身父母共同生活的青少年,在貧窮工人階級中略超過50%,中產與上層階級有77%。工人階級母親所生的孩子,有36%非婚生,中產、上層階級則為13%。

研究摘要的「工人階級」定義為調整後家庭收入介於第20到第50百分位之間,有高中文憑但無大學學歷的成人,中產和上層階級的定義則是高於第50百分位,或有大學學歷的成人。

Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/319374/web/

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