LEGALIZATION OF CONSENSUAL UNION IN ROMANIA – SOCIO-LEGAL ASPECTS AND SOCIAL CONSEQUENCES
The analysis of contemporary social discourse on family and marriage highlights a wide range of stereotypes that call into question the vitality of marriage (high divorce rate, young peopleʼs desire to stop having children, low interest in marriage, complicated divorce procedures etc.). Although such stereotypes are clearly contested by national statistical evidence, marriage is seen as in severe decline and no longer has the resources to be revitalised. Against this backdrop, new voices are coming to rebuild the image of conjugality in new ways, seen as freer and much more secure from the point of view of personal assets or the autonomy of partners. Thus, consensual union (seen as a pre-marital state or as a legal union) appears in the view of some as a successful alternative for a fulfilled married life. In this sense, the dilemma of marriage versus consensual union offers new perspectives that oscillate between the function of solidarity and relational individualism, both dimensions being discussed and polemicised in social discourse, in the media and even in scientific literature.
The study aims at a quantitative analysis and is centered around Parsonsʼ functionalist theory, the research being focused on the five dimensions: solidarity, individualism, intimacy, self / other relationship and relationship to the social norm. The study aims to analyse young peopleʼs social views on the marital choice between marriage and consensual union.
Keywords: marriage, consensual union, solidarity, relational individualism, functionality.