Marriage should not just be for the middle classes

The Iona Institute released a report last week further highlighting the big marriage gap that exists between middle class and working class people. CSO data show that professional workers are twice as likely to be married, and only a third as likely to be divorced or separated as unskilled workers. Breda O’Brien turned her attention to the matter in her Irish Times column at the weekend.

As she points out, in Ireland we have almost no awareness of these facts and less discussion. The middle class are basically keeping marriage for themselves, and since they control social policy, no attempt is made to address the marriage gap.

You can read her column here.

Another worthwhile article along the same lines is by Dr W Brad Wilcox (who has spoken at an Iona event). He says that in the US, too, working class family life has declined and that ‘elite policy-makers’ are partly to blame.

He argues that policy-makers have been responsible for too many working class jobs being lost to countries like China, and also for a shift away from cultural protection of marriage that has disproportionately affected the working class.

You can read the article in full here.