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   Stefano Fochesatto Melanie Lindholm SOC 101X 9/21/17 Marriage; The Millennial's Dilemma   Research Question: “According to the PEW Research Center around 50% of adults are married today, and that rate has been dramatically falling ever since a peak of 72% in 1960 . By extrapolating this data, researchers have asserted that most millennials will remain unmarried through their 40’s. Why is the millennial generation, so hesitant to take part in the institution of marriage?” Millennials have changed our definition of marriage and it’s relation to adulthood. For millennials, marriage has undergone a process of delegitimization—a weakening of the social norms that redefines the future of the nuclear family. In Andrew J. Cherlin’s “ The  Deinstitutionalization of American Marriage ” he states that prior to the millennial generation marriage and only marriage was, “one’s ticket of admission to a full family life.” It is this shift from formality that has led the millennial generation astray from the established definition of adulthood. Cherlin continues by noting the rise in “cohabitation” as an alternative to marriage. This is important because “cohabitation” is based off a private non binding commitment outlining the effective fragility that the millennial generation brings to the traditional family roles. This notion of cohabitation also extends to the idea that the American marriage has been transformed by the    millennial generation from what used to be the foundational definition of adulthood to simply one lifestyle choice among many. Hypothesis:  Millennials are skeptical of marriage as a result of their negative experiences navigating young adulthood during the Great Recession, causing them to see marriage as more of a financial decision rather than a transitional milestone into adulthood. Research Methodology:  The best way to gather data, and analyse large scale trends in the field of sociology involves interviewing, or administering questionnaires and written surveys. In this case I would propose an online questionnaire, linking it to social media like facebook, and twitter to help propagate the reach of the study as well as verify the age and marital status of all respondents.We would likely question financial status, employment history, education status, as well as their level of  participation in online dating services. After that we would analyze the data learn to discern similarities, differences, and trends. This methodology is ideal because it reaches the target respondent, “millennials” in the best way and it also creates a snowball effect because the respondents have the opportunity to share the questionnaire, increasing our sample size and therefore increasing the validity of our results.   
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