Monday, July 6, 2009

A fascinating spin on marital infidelity

Don't miss today's Room for Debate: A Running Commentary on the News, which is called "The Clueless Wives Club." I found especially incisive the comments of Wharton's Betsey Stevenson. Following is a quote in which she sets up a dichotomy between marriages she characterizes as "separate spheres" and "shared lives." Here's an excerpt in which Stevenson characterizes her own marriage, one in which couples match well in terms of how to live their day-to-day lives. She calls this the "hedonic" or "consumption" or "shared lives" marriage:
In these marriages, spouses typically share the daily jobs of running a household, with both employed in paying jobs and both contributing equally to home production.

By contrast, more traditional marriages are described by economists as “production-based” or “separate-spheres” marriages. In production-based marriages, couples benefit from dividing and conquering. One person specializes in market production, while the other specializes in raising the children and work in the home.
What kind of marriage or committed relationship are you in?

Stevenson suggests that the former are more stable. Hmmmm.

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