Familial relationships and efforts in retention of marriage among atomistic families in Indonesia

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The rise of globalization and the changing trends in the family structure have introduced a new form of the Atomistic family. An atomistic family is a type of family, in which after the marriage, husband and wife (couple) are not living together. This study revealed how interactions are being performed in atomistic families and how the efforts made by working husband or wife in atomistic families in maintaining marriage life. This study deployed qualitative methods through interviews with fifty-seven families/ couples (57) who did not live together in East Java, Indonesia. This study found that husbands or wives who work in the public sector are often living separately from their spouses because of the work demands. In many cases, this problem was experienced by couples who have children, in which family members live far apart. Many children are accompanied by grandparents because both father and mother work outside of the city. However, there are various ways to maintain household continuity in an atomistic family. The results found that, husband and wife must trust their partners, the interaction between family members must be conducted through face-to-face meetings, communication via telephone, and social networking websites. Although the frequency of face-to-face meetings is quite difficult due to their work routine, sometimes they have interaction once a week or once a month and even once in six months. This study concludes that atomistic families have a latent function in coping with conflicts and may strengthen the relationship.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2046313
JournalCogent Social Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Indonesia
  • atomistic family
  • education
  • marriage
  • women rights


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