মুখ্য Journal of Social Policy Michael Freeman and Christina Lyon, Cohabitation Without Marriage: An Essay in Law and Social...

Michael Freeman and Christina Lyon, Cohabitation Without Marriage: An Essay in Law and Social Policy, Gower, Aldershot, 1983. vii + 228 pp. £15.00.

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14
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Journal of Social Policy
DOI:
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October, 1985
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আপনি একটি বুক রিভিউ লিখতে পারেন এবং আপনার অভিজ্ঞতা শেয়ার করতে পারেন. অন্যান্য পাঠকরা আপনার পড়া বইগুলির বিষয়ে আপনার মতামত সম্পর্কে সর্বদা আগ্রহী হবে. বইটি আপনার পছন্দ হোক বা না হোক, আপনি যদি নিজের সৎ ও বিস্তারিত চিন্তাভাবনা ব্যক্ত করেন তাহলে অন্যরা তাদের জন্য উপযুক্ত নতুন বইগুলি খুঁজে পাবে.
1

F.M. Martin, Between the Acts: Community Mental Health Services 1959–1983, Nuffield Provincial Hospitals Trust, 1984. viii + 202 pp. £6.00.

সাল:
1985
ভাষা:
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Michael Freeman and Christina Lyon,
Cohabitation Without Marriage: An Essay in
Law and Social Policy, Gower, Aldershot, 1983.
vii + 228 pp. £15.00.
Dulcie Groves
Journal of Social Policy / Volume 14 / Issue 04 / October 1985, pp 581 - 583
DOI: 10.1017/S0047279400015063, Published online: 20 January 2009

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Dulcie Groves (1985). Journal of Social Policy, 14, pp 581-583 doi:10.1017/
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Reviews

581

to handle the gains and losses distributed among different parcels of land by
planning decisions which determine what kind of development is to be permitted
on each. The recurring and unsuccessful attempts we have made since the
Second World War to capture some of the betterment brought about by the
development of a community and the decisions of its planners should not be
abandoned, he argues. Instead, we should rely on three solutions which will be
less provocative and more effective: development land tax on landowners'
profits; bargains struck with developers for the provision of benefits which
compensate the community for the costs their projects impose on it; and charges
levied on planning applications — still very modest, but capable of being
increased in future.
Interesting for quite different reasons is Walter Bor's chapter on Milton Keynes.
As leader of the team who prepared the plans for the most original new town
built in Britain during the last generation, he is specially qualified to tell the story
of this project and to reflect on the outcome. The result is part journalism, part
history, but well worth reading at a time when many people doub; t whether
planning and planners actually achieve anything.
John Stambollouian and Ian McDonald provide a useful review of the progress
of enterprise zones, but had to write their paper far too soon after the launch
of this scheme to attempt an evaluation of it. The best that can be said of the
remaining British contributions is that they will be useful revision reading for
candidates taking the final examinations in town planning courses. Sir Desmond
Heap's brief review of the whole British planning system is a model of this genre.
Charles Haar's final summary of the lessons which Americans can learn from
England draws sensible conclusions. Gains conferred on landowners by planning
policies should be recaptured by taxes on their incomes and by requiring
developers to meet costs (such as road and school building) directly attributable
to their projects. Housing policies, regarded in the States as the main weapon
of those renewing deprived inner-city areas, will not by themselves be sufficient:
employment, education and other issues must also be tackled. Housing policies
will not do much good for the poor unless accompanied by a larger and less
stigmatizing system of housing subsidies than the Americans have yet deployed.
My only quarrel with Haar's conclusions would be focused on the over-optimistic
expectations he has of our enterprise zones.
Haar's book is aimed at his fellow countrymen, but for the British his most
revealing comment is made in a tone of slightly puzzled surprise: 'If Prime
Minister Thatcher and... Michael Heseltine, both notoriously staunch supporters
of the free market, have not shifted that orientation in Britain, it simply is not
going to be shifted' (p.218). And the 'orientation' in question? 'The need to
accept a planned urban environment.'
DAVID DONNISON

University of Glasgow
Michael Freeman and Christina Lyon, Cohabitation Without Marriage: An
Essay in Law and Social Policy, Gower, Aldershot, 1983. vii + 228 pp.
£15.00.
There has been a notable rise in the incidence of heterosexual cohabitation
outside marriage in Britain over the past decade (see General Household Survey

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582

Reviews

1982, 1984, Tables 4.1-4.8, pp.38-40) and a corresponding growth of interest
among academic lawyers in the phenomenon of cohabitation. Freeman and
Lyon's stated aim is to address cohabitation from a feminist standpoint, and as
lawyers interested in social policy. They query the extent to which the English
and other judicial systems are increasingly treating cohabitation as a status
equivalent to marriage, arguing that cohabitation should preferably offer
autonomy to the individual partners rather than forcing them into a ' marriagelike ' status which may be precisely what the cohabitants are attempting to avoid.
Following an introduction which sets cohabitation in its historical context,
Freeman and Lyon offer a useful commentary on family law and the status of
women, both within the family and in paid employment. In discussing issues
arising from the sexual division of labour in the home and workplace, the
authors are at pains to illustrate not only how gender divisions are thus
constructed and used to justify differential treatment of men and women under
the law, but also how the legal system is constantly recreating a particular
ideological view of relationships between the sexes, best expressed as an ideology
of'patriarchalism' (p.25).
Freeman and Lyon discuss cohabitation as an alternative to marriage,
concluding that since it is, in the main, a prelude to marriage or remarriage,
it does not constitute the major threat to the institution of marriage that its critics
perceive. However, as with marriage, the nature of cohabitation is most starkly
revealed when a partnership breaks down. The authors give much interesting
detail on the responses of the English and other legal systems to cohabitation,
including the extent to which income-maintenance provision, survivors' benefits
and the legal judgements which have arisen from the ending of cohabitation
either reward or penalize the parties concerned in proportion to the absence or
presence of' marriage-like' qualities in their union.
Cohabitation tends to be treated as equivalent to marriage on the basis of a
common residence, where there are children, where the relationship is of long
duration and where the partners have taken roles traditional to marriage in their
culture. Differential treatment of cohabitants as opposed to legally married
couples tends to be justified, as the authors illustrate, by arguments for the
centrality of marriage in upholding the social order of society, serial marriage
notwithstanding. Freeman and Lyon's argument for differential treatment under
the law for cohabiting couples rests on allowing the possibility of a range of
alternative forms of partnership to marriage, though, as discussed in an appendix
to the book, they are not averse to the notion of a formal contract being made
between such partners. Cohabitation is viewed as a significant option which is
particularly important for women who wish to maintain a measure of autonomy
and financial independence. The authors argue that far from treating cohabitation more like marriage, it is marriage which should become like an autonomous
cohabitation. However, it can be noted that in Sweden, where this approach has
been developed most fully, it is parenthood which tends to blur the difference
between the legal position of parties to marriage and to cohabitation.
Cohabitation Without Marriage offers much of interest to those whose concerns
within the field of social policy bring them face to face with issues arising from
cohabitation, particularly within the areas of housing and income maintenance,
including pensions. And while the legal decisions and practices on which the
authors base their discussion must inevitably date, the principles which they raise

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Reviews

583

seem likely to remain topical. The book is written in a lively and humorous
manner and could well prove a useful teaching aid, enabling students to relate
the study of social policy, law and sociology to a topic which touches on their
own lives. Has anyone else had third-year women students complaining about
potential employers who translate an affirmative answer to their intrusive
questioning as to whether candidates are living in a 'permanent relationship'
as meaning a ' marriage-like' geographic immobility ?
DULCIE GROVES

University of Lancaster
S. Ayer and A. Alaszewski, Community Care and the Mentally Handicapped:
Services for Mothers and Their Mentally Handicapped Children, Croom Helm,
London, 1984. ix + 262 pp. £14.95.
This is a study based on interviews with the mothers of 120 mentally
handicapped school children in North Humberside. The authors explain the
nature of their study in the following terms: ' Current policies and practices are
determined more by the experiences and needs of the various agencies providing
services, than by the experiences and needs of mentally handicapped people and
their families. We felt that this was an unsatisfactory state of affairs and it was
important that policies should be based on information about family life. We
decided to collect information about the needs and experiences of families with
severely handicapped school children in North Humberside' (p.l). They go on to
say that their research ' was an exploratory pilot study. We aimed at generating
insights and information that could be used in policy making and that other
studies could and would develop' (p.l).
This is a very strange statement to make, especially as they go on to refer to
a number of other studies, and particularly to Tizard and Grad (The Mentally
Handicapped and Their Families, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1961). If any
book was 'an exploratory study', it was Tizard and Grad. Other studies have
taken up themes they began. It is hard to understand why Ayer and Alaszewski
did not look very carefully at what had come out of the earlier studies, consider
what particular areas needed further exploration in the light of such studies, and
concentrate on that.
As it is, we have a competent — though far from enthralling — run through
of the problems of mothers landed with coping with the worrysome task of caring
for their mentally handicapped children, which have already been documented
quite adequately. The authors do add yet further evidence of how poorly
mentally handicapped people are served, and give depressing evidence of just
how poorly the mothers rate the efforts of health visitors, general practitioners
and social workers. However, teachers are much appreciated.
The first two chapters give a stimulating, historical and policy introduction
which injects some fresh thinking. They are particularly good on the assumptions
which underlie the policies. The pity is they did not extend this good critical
approach to the studies that had already been done on families. There are some
cases where they have missed out on literature that would have reinforced and
developed their argument further; for example, in the chapter on the discovery
of mental handicap, they do not refer to the perceptive article by Olshansky
where he shows how acceptance of mental handicap by the parents is something

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