MARS HILL AUDIO Report 4

Wandering toward the Altar: The Decline of American Courtship

Wandering toward the Altar: The Decline of American Courtship

Much public attention is given to the decline of marriage and the family in America, but few have thought to relate this decline to the changing ways in which Americans understand and practice courtship. The cultural wisdom and conventions that once guided young men and women in their efforts to find and win suitable partners for marriage are vanishing. Modesty and sexual restraint are ridiculed, while previously stigmatized behaviors such as casual sexual "hook-ups" and premarital cohabitation have become commonplace.

Wandering toward the Altar explores the broader cultural changes behind the end of traditional American courtship, including the rise of youth culture and dating, the demise of the productive family household, careerism and the later age of first marriage, the replacement of romantic imagination with youthful cynicism about love and marriage, and the exclusion of home and family from the practices of courting. This 4.5 hour program features studio interviews with Leon and Amy Kass, Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, Wendy Shalit, Allan C. Carlson, Beth Bailey, Steven Nock, Kay Hymowitz, and Douglas Wilson, as well as extensive field reporting. Available in downloadable MP3 format (burnable to 4 standard CDs). 4.5 hours.

This item is available for purchase. Please log in or register to add it to your cart.

  • Description
    Track 1: On a definition of courtship
  • Description
    Track 2: On the shift from courtship to dating during the early twentieth century
  • Description
    Track 3: On the marriage education movement and on how experts replaced parents as courtship advisors
  • Description
    Track 4: On the shift from marriage as the formation of a household to marriage as a companionate relationship
  • Description
    Track 5: On dating and marriage conventions during the 40s and 50s and the backlash of the sexual revolution
  • Description
    Track 6: On birth control, feminism, careerism, and cohabitation
  • Description
    Track 7: On the link between sexual modesty and the formation of a romantic imagination
  • Description
    Track 8: On sex education and the emotionally stunting effects of marketing sexuality to children
  • Description
    Track 9: On what makes an attractive mate and on new forms of matchmaking
  • Description
    Track 10: On American churches and the revival of traditional courtship practices
  • Description
    Track 11: On marriage as a public and communal institution and not just a private relationship between individuals