Douglas Raybeck

Douglas Raybeck, professor of anthropology emeritus, presented a paper titled “Divorce and Modernization: A Comparative Study” at the meeting of the Society for Cross-Cultural Research (SCCR) held March 1st to 4th in New Orleans.

Written with Ricardo Gomez of Columbia’s Universidad de Antioquia, the paper presents the results of their extended case study on whether modernization decreases or increases the divorce rate.

Using research conducted by Raybeck in Kelantan, Malaysia, over a period of some 40 years, he and Gomez looked at the influence of economic, social and ideological variables on the extremely high divorce rate in Kelantan.  

The authors focused on the idea that “when the social structure places emphasis on the nuclear family, modernization will increase the divorce rate, but where the social structure is cognatic (or bilateral) with an emphasis on the extended family, modernization will lead to a decrease in the rate of divorce.”

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