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Socially Controlled Civility [microform] : The Functioning of Ritual in the Divorce Process / Colleen Leahy Johnson
Bib ID 5476083
Format MicroformMicroform, BookBook
Johnson, Colleen Leahy
Description [Washington, D.C.] : Distributed by ERIC Clearinghouse, 1986 
21 p. 

Rituals are often present at times of tension, change, and uncertainty and they perform important and diverse functions at such times. They are, however, virtually absent at one important and increasingly common event, divorce. Families do draw upon rituals to deal with in-law relationships following divorce. This report stemmed from a research project on the role of grandmothers in the divorces of their children. Interviews with 50 parent-grandmother dyads and with other individuals along the divorce and remarriage chains revealed how ritualized rules of interaction were used to control tension. Most members of post-divorce families must meet in chance encounters; the performance of family roles; and the celebration of ritual events entailing the children, including rituals of the calendar and transition rituals. For these individuals, rituals function at various social levels. They attempt to control the setting for interaction by creating a conflict-free or buffered zone. Divorced individuals initiate tension-reducing mechanisms of various types. Avoidance is often the most attractive option. When avoidance is not possible, observance of rules of etiquette can formalize interactions and stabilize the recognition of parental roles. Some individuals prefer to establish a joking relationship with former spouses and in-laws. Codes of etiquette allow former relatives to meet with civility during the ritual occasions which preserve continuities and integration between generations and between present and former in-laws. (NB)


Sponsoring Agency: National Inst. on Aging (DHHS/PHS), Bethesda, MD.

Contract Number: NIA-1R01-AG-05348.

Contract Number: NIMH-1R01-MH/AG-35630.

ERIC Note: Paper presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society (39th, Chicago, IL, November 19-23, 1986).

May also be available online. Address as at 14/8/18:

Reproduction Microfiche. [Washington D.C.]: ERIC Clearinghouse microfiches : positive. 
Subjects Divorce.  |  Family Relationship.  |  Grandchildren.  |  Grandparents.  |  Prosocial Behavior.  |  Remarriage.  |  Social Behavior.  |  Spouses.  |  Etiquette Rituals
Form/genre Reports, Descriptive.  |  Speeches/Meeting Papers.
Available From ERIC 


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