The transformation of the American family from an intact family unit into separate parts is a contemporary phenomenon that affects millions of Americans each year. The process of divorce is often painful, traumatic, and life altering. Over the past decades, divorce has become increasingly common. It is possible that the media has adjusted the way that divorce is portrayed and discussed since 1980 because divorce rates have fluctuated since the no-fault divorce policy was implemented. In order to evaluate this hypothesis, a content analysis was conducted to compare and contrast articles from four different publications throughout the last three decades. The content analysis evaluated the following criteria: the year of publication, the consequences of divorce, the effect of divorce on parents and children, the effect of divorce on society, the effect of divorce for males and females, explanations of divorce, expert citations, statistics, personal namatives, and an evaluation of overall negativity. An analysis of the frequency of the topic in selected popular media will also be conducted to discover if divorce is more commonly discussed now than thirty years ago. These fifteen variables were examined in order to evaluate if or how media adjusts the way divorce is depicted over time. This analysis also examined several variables in depth: the way the media depicts the way divorce effects children, the way the media portrays the relationship between divorce and gender, and the way the media discusses the effect of divorce on society as a whole. The data collected on these variables helps us to make conclusions about how the media portrays the phenomenon of divorce and its consequences. These conclusions give us a bigger picture about how the media presents the issue of divorce and what its consequences are.
"Investigating the Media's Divulgence of Divorce,"
Augsburg Honors Review: Vol. 4, Article 6.
Available at: https://idun.augsburg.edu/honors_review/vol4/iss1/6