ABSTRACT:Cohabitation refers that a man and a woman live together without legal marriage. As a social phenomenon, cohabitation in the history of Chinese and foreign is widespread and of long standing; the earliest history can be traced back to “concubinato” in Ancient Rome. And in the lives of contemporary people, cohabitation is still being. At present, with the rapid economic development and a growing respect for the private rights, there is a popular trend of cohabitation in the world. In America, cohabitation of unmarried adult men and women even has become an alternative way of life and this has attracted more attention of people.
Cohabitation as a social phenomenon, there are the profound history reasons behind it. In recent years, scholars have done some in-depth studies. Some scholars point out that the prevalence of American cohabitation is related to American individualism value. Individualism as the core of American culture enormously influences American family mode in addition to American politics, economy and culture. This paper discusses the status and reasons of American cohabitation phenomenon from individualism perspective, as well as the influence of American individualism on American cohabitation in hope of presenting a kind of comprehensive understanding of American culture for people.
Keywords: America; cohabitation; individualism; culture