Answer the following questions. Identify each question by
chapter and number and write your responses after each.

Chapter 12 — Page 416 — Question 1

1. Historian Eric Sager, commenting on the growing ranks of
singles, points out, “It is often said that divorce today performs the function
that death did in the past. The promise to live together for better or worse, so
long as you both shall live, means something very different if you anticipate a
married life of 60 years, as opposed to a married life of 25 years.” Do you
agree or disagree with Sager? Is the goal of lifetime marriage realistic in
today’s society? What role, if any, does an increase in life expectancy play in
marital stability? Explain.

Chapter 13 — Page 444 — Questions 1 & 3

1. Discuss the significance of viewing remarried families as
entities that are distinct from nuclear families. In a similar vein, some
sociologists have argued against referring to remarried families as
reconstituted or blended families. How might these latter terms cause problems
for individuals living in remarried families? Should biological parents who are
cohabiting with a partner be considered stepfamilies? Explain.

2. The divorce rate is higher in second marriages than in
first marriages and even higher in third marriages. What factors are involved
in these lower rates of marital stability? Do you see any as more important
than the others? Explain. What can individuals and the community do to help
improve the duration of remarriages? Explain.

Chapter 14 — Page 475 — Questions 3 & 4

1. How does the experience of aging differ for single,
married, divorced, and widowed people? For heterosexual and homosexual elderly?
For elderly with children and those without? What actions could communities
take to improve the lives of their elderly citizens?

2. In Chapter 12 , we
asked whether the idea of a permanent marriage is a realistic option in today’s
society. In this chapter, we noted that 6 percent of all married couples
celebrated golden wedding anniversaries. Can you imagine yourself married for
50 or more years? What do you think it takes to stay married that long? The
longer people stay married, the more likely they are to experience widowhood.
Can or should married couples prepare for this eventuality? Would this make a
difference in the way they experience widowhood? What advice and support could
you give to a couple when one spouse is terminally ill? Explain your position.