Volume 18, Issue 71 (3-2019)                   refahj 2019, 18(71): 279-320 | Back to browse issues page

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omidvar P, Danesh P, javaheri F, Zahedi Mazandarani M J. Studying the cohabitation subculture in metropolis Tehran (backgrounds and consequents). refahj. 2019; 18 (71) :279-320
URL: http://refahj.uswr.ac.ir/article-1-3177-en.html
Abstract:   (2743 Views)
Expended Abstract
Introduction: In recent years, new methods of relationship between both sexes have emerged which have no family framework. Today, some girls and boys are living together although they have not got married legally and formally; based on a mutual agreement for an unspecified time.
Some scholars express that Iran’s society has faced with increasing waves of changes in values and norms by expanding new communicational facilities. The process of value changes including the increase in the divorce rate, increasing the percentage of female-headed households, prevalence pair selecting pattern by himself/herself, and differences between generations have created remarkable changes in marriage desirability. A subculture is a life style by a group within a larger culture which accepts a lot of life styles in that larger culture, but it is different from the larger culture in many aspects and faces against the public culture. This study tries to answer these questions: first, what are the backgrounds and consequences of expanding cohabitation subculture in the metropolis of Tehran? second, how can the cohabitation subculture provide a field for decreasing the marriage importance and family formation? The researchers will work on coding the payments. Albert Cohen, Giddens, Peter Blow, Bowman, Weber, Simmel, and Inglehart’s idea has been used to construct the conceptual framework for this research.
Method: Qualitative methodology has been used as the prevailing method in this study and the grounded theory method was applied for data analysis. The grounded theory is a method of quality analysis, and  it includes some distinctive features, such as theoretical sampling, the use of continuous comparisons, and coding procedures that explain complex phenomena. Besides, due to the sensitivity of the subject and the fact that the couples were not easily accessible, and they were not from a specific community, available sampling was used to find the target respondents for the interview. After finding the respondents and conducting 20 interviews, the researchers achieved theoretical saturation.
Findings: According to the research findings, it can be said that some casual conditions which have resulted in the formation of cohabitation subculture in society are the distance between sexual maturity and economic maturity, individualism, generation difference, rethinking, and considering cost-benefit. Marriage and family formation was a priority for the past generation after reaching the maturity age, but for a new generation, the priority is with getting higher university degrees and finding a suitable job after graduation. On the other hand, marriage and family formation following the traditional customs have high costs. Therefore, there will be a distance between the sexual maturity and the economic one. Non-responsibility can also be regarded as another reason for leading cohabitors towards this kind of life. The interviewees believe that no responsibility has been imposed on them in life, and they feel their life conditions are more comfortable than the traditional marriage. They prefer to have a relaxed life without any responsibilities forcing them to have commitment to others. These behaviors show individualism is likely to be on the rise in persons. The interviewees also said that if they encounter problems, first of all they refer to their friends and ask for help, and their social relationships are limited to travelling with friends. Most cohabitors hide this way of living from their families; instead they prefer to take this matter up with their friends. These factors show big changes between two generations’ values.
Cohabitors break the social norms and create new values by their deconstruction. The role of a man and woman in life and their duties after the life formation is clear for both of them in traditional marriage and life, but cohabitors have changed the duties which are entrusted to each pair and have no obligation in doing so. Further, the cohabitors tend to maximize their own benefits, a temporary relationship which meets their needs and have the most benefits and can exit the relationship with the lowest cost.
The background conditions on forming cohabitation subculture are educational and job migration, changing the life style and devotion of marriage. Most students who come to Tehran for continuing education do not like to return to their cities because of the  opportunities for finding a suitable job in Tehran. Living in a big city where people pay no attention or even ignore the issues of others’ provides a basis for breaking the norms.    
Although marriage is a holy Covenant in our society and culture, and our religious orders have emphasized on the importance of marriage and family formation, the analysis of interviewees’ remarks show that traditional marriage has been less important.
The friendship experience with the opposite sex and familiarity with cohabitation life is as an intermediary condition in the emerging life in the form of cohabitation. Cohabitors experience a friendship before living together. These types of friendship and conflicts among them in love processes have provided the conditions for living together.
Redefinition of sexual roles and meeting temporary needs are the strategies which cohabitors use. Each cohabitor does not enter this kind of life as the definition of their roles in society which are expected from them; for example, the female cohabitors have an economic independence and they do not pay attention to home works and the male cohabitors do not take the responsibility for life costs and have the same role in the home works as the female ones. Both of them have a consideration to a deep cognition to his/her own pair. The consequences of forming cohabitation subculture have been divided into two individual and social groups.

Participants characteristics in the study
Row    Gender    Age    education
1    Man    36    High school Diploma
2    Man    37    Bachelor’s Degree
3    Female    27    Bachelor’s student
4    Female    28    Bachelor’s student
5    Man    32    Master’s student
6    Man    27    Bachelor’s Degree
7    Man    36    High school Diploma
8    Female    28    Bachelor’s Degree
9    Man    29    Master’s Degree
10    Female    26    Bachelor’s Degree
11    Female    25    Bachelor’s Degree
12    Man    29    Bachelor’s Degree
13    Female    27    Associate’s Degree
14    Female    25    Master’s student
15    Female    30    Bachelor’s Degree
16    Female    31    Master’s Degree
17    Female    33    Bachelor’s Degree
18    Man    35    Bachelor’s Degree
19    Female    36    Master’s Degree
20    Man    37    Bachelor’s student

Figure 1.  Paradigmatic Pattern of Cohabitation Subculture
Discussion : Aside from the casual and intermediary conditions which were considered, some conditions are governing on our in-transition society which can provide a background for decreasing marriage importance and family formation according to interviewees’ remaks. The high unemployment levels of unemployment, raising the marriage age, increasing number of the single-occupied housing, girls’ financial independence and, etc. can be referred to as other important conditions. Nevertheless, the family function still has its own importance and value among the society members as a lot of single girls and boys believe that the most important matter in their lives is family formation and marriage.
Ethical Considerations
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Authors’ contributions
This article was written with Cooperation all authors (Pouran Omidvar & D.r Parvaneh Danesh & D.r Fatemeh Javaheri & D.r Mohammad Javad Zahedi Mazandarani).
Conflicts of interest
The results of this article are not in conflict with the previous articles.
This article is certified by the university and Extracted from the thesis.
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Type of Study: orginal |
Received: 2018/08/20 | Accepted: 2019/02/12 | Published: 2019/04/15

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