Title

Forming the Central Framework for a Science of Marital Quality: An Interpretive Alternative to Marital Satisfaction as a Proxy for Marital Quality

Keywords

family theory, history of family science, marital quality, marital satisfaction, metatheory and theory development

Abstract

The central framework for contemporary marital science was formed in the 1930s and centers on the uncritical acceptance of the primacy of method over theory in the pursuit of disengaged, amoral knowledge claims. This pursuit results in the unexamined commitment to an ontology of an essentialist and atomistic self and marriage as a self‐defining relation. An interpretive alternative based in the work of Charles Taylor understands marital actors as self‐interpreting agents for whom the question of the quality of their marriage is unavoidable and constitutive of their marital relations. Only by taking up the question of marital quality directly, in ways consonant with lived marital relations, can marital scholars adequately theorize the empirical reality of contemporary marital relations.

Original Publication Citation

Knapp, Stan J. & Bruce R. Lott. 2010. “Forming the Central Framework for a Science of Marital Quality: An Interpretive Alternative to Marital Satisfaction as a Proxy for Marital Quality." Journal of Family Theory and Review 2: 316-333.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2010-11-05

Publisher

Journal of Family Theory & Review

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Sociology

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor

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