Sociologists and anthropologists have given definitions of marriage. Some of the important definitions are given below. Goode, the famous family sociologist has tried to combine the two objectives of marriage i. It was perhaps for this reason that American sociologists came out with the statement that no child should be born without a father.
Although different thinkers have tried to provide definition of marriage, but there is no universally acceptable definition of marriage. There seems to be, however, a consensus that marriage involves several criteria that are found to exist cross-culturally and throughout time. Individual happiness has been given the least importance. It is considered to be sacrament, a spiritual union between a man and a woman in the social status of husband and wife.
In Western countries, marriage is a contract. Personal happiness is given the utmost importance. People enter into matrimonial alliances for the sake of seeking personal happiness. If this happiness is-not forthcoming they will terminate the relationship. Marriage is thus cultural specific. The rules and regulations differ from one culture to another.
We can, however, identify certain basic features of this institution. The above discussion helps us to conclude that the boundaries of marriage are not always precise and clearly defined. It is, however, very important institution for the society as it helps in replacement of old and dying population. Marriage is an institutionalized relationship within the family system. It fulfills many functions attributed to the family in general.
Family functions include basic personality formation, status ascriptions, socialization, tension management, and replacement of members, economic cooperation, reproduction, stabilization of adults, and the like. In fact, evidence suggests marriage to be of great significance for the well-being of the individual. Researchers have shown that compared to the unmarried, married persons are generally happier, healthier, less depressed and disturbed and less prone to premature deaths.
Marriage, rather than becoming less important or unimportant, may be increasingly indispensable. The functions of marriage differ as the structure of marriage differs. Thus, to not have a child or more specifically, to not have a male child, is sufficient reason to replace the present wife or add a new wife. Thus in the United States, marriage has many functions and involves many positive as well as negative personal factors: The greater the extent to which the perceived needs of marriage are met, and the fewer the alternatives in the replacement of the unmet needs, the greater the likelihood of marriage and the continuation of that marriage.
At a personal level, any perceived reason may explain marriage, but at a social level, all societies sanction certain reasons and renounce others. Societies evolved mannerism and method for selection of the spouses, according to their peculiar socio-economic and political conditions, and in accordance with their levels of cultural advancement.
This explains on the one hand the origin of the various forms, of marriage and on the other the differences in the attitude of societies towards the institution of marriage. Some have accepted it as purely a contractual arrangement between weds, while others hold it as the sacred union between man, and woman.
Forms of marriage vary from society to society. Marriage can be broadly divided into two types, 1 monogamy and 2 polygamy. Monogamy is that form of marriage in which at a given period of time one man has marital relations with one woman. On the death of the spouse or one of the partners seek divorce then they can establish such relationship with other persons but at a given period of time, one cannot have two or more wives or two or more husbands. This one to one relationship is the most modern civilized way of living.
In most of the societies it is this form, which is found and recognized. It should be noted that on a societal basis, only about 20 per cent of the societies are designated as strictly monogamous, that is, monogamy is the required form. When monogamy does not achieve stability, certain married persons end their relationship and remarry. Thus, the second spouse, although not existing simultaneously with the first, is sometimes referred to as fitting into a pattern of sequential monogamy, serial monogamy or remarriage.
Keeping in view the advantages of monogamy the world has granted recognition to monogamous form of marriage. The following are its advantages: In this form of marriage men and women have to adjust with one partner only. In this way there is better adjustment between them. If the number of people in the family will be limited there will be more love and affection in the family. Because of which they will have friendly and deep relations. In the monogamy the children are looked after with earnest attention of parents.
The development of modes of children will be done nicely. There will be no jealously between the parents for looking after their children. Family happiness is maintained under monogamy which is completely destroyed in other forms of marriage because of jealousy and other reasons.
Thus, in this form of marriage, family is defined as happy family. In this form of marriage the status of woman in family is equal. If husband works she looks after the house or both of them work for strengthening the economic condition of the family. It is only under monogamous way of living that husband and wife can have equalitarian way of life. Under this system husband and wife not only share the familial role and obligations but also have joint decisions.
The decision making process becomes a joint venture. Some sociologists have the view that monogamy controls the population.
Because of one wife children in the family will be limited. It also affects the standard of living within limited resources. One can manage easily to live a better life. It helps in the development of independent personality without much constraint and pressure. Old parents receive favouring care by their children but under polygamy their days are full of bitterness.
In such a family there is close union between the couple and the chances of conflict are reduced and there is cooperation between husband and wife.
It is more stable form of marriage. There is better division of property after the death of parents. Monogamy is a marriage between one husband and one wife. So if the partner is not of choice then life loses its charm. They have to adjust between themselves but now-a-days divorce is the answer to their problem. If one of the partners has some problem couples cannot have children. They have to suffer from childlessness. Marriage in monogamy does not play part of income.
They have to depend upon their own occupation for living. If they are poor they will remain poor. So monogamy effects the economic condition of man and woman. Monogamy provides better status to women in the society. They are counted equal to men. Some people do not like this form of marriage. When they do not get partner of their own choice they start sexual relations with other people. This also leads to the problem of prostitution.
Distinguished from monogamy is polygamy. Polygamy refer to the marriage of several or many. Polygamy is the form of marriage in which one man marries two or more women or one woman marries two or more men or a number of men many a number of women.
Polygamy, like other forms of marriage is highly regulated and normatively controlled. It is likely to be supported by the attitudes and values of both the sexes. Polygamy itself has many forms and variations.
Polygamy is of three types: Polygyny is a form of marriage in which a man has more than one. In other words it is a form of marriage in which one man marries more than one woman at a given time. It is the prevalent form of marriage among the tribes, Polygyny also appears to be the privilege of the wealthy, in many African societies the rich usually have more than one wife. This type of marriage is found in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda. Now polygyny is visible among many tribes of India.
Viewing polygyny cross-culturally, poiygynous families evidence specific organisational features: It has been suggested that if co-wives are sisters, they usually live in the same house; if co-wives are not sister, they usually live in separate houses. It is believed that sibling can better tolerate, suppress and live with a situation of sexual rivalry than can non-siblings. Sororal polygyny is one in which all the wives are sisters. Non-sororal polygyny means the marriage of one man with many women who are not sisters.
When in any tribe or society male members are less in number and females are more, then this type of marriage takes place. To earn the livelihood male members migrate from one society to another. This way there is a decrease in the number of males than females and polygyny takes place.
Hypergamy also gives rise to polygyny. Under this system the parents of lower castes or classes want to improve their social status by marrying their daughters in the higher caste or classes. Among the primitive people importance was given to make children than females. Thus man was free to have as many marriages as he liked on the ground to get male children.
Particularly the leaders of primitive society increased number of wives in order to prove their superiority. A single marriage was considered a sign of poverty.
So where marriage is taken as sign of prestige and prosperity the custom of polygyny is natural. Where the people of the poor families were unable to find suitable husbands for their daughters they started marrying their daughters to rich married males.
The desire for variety of sex relations is another cause of polygyny. The sexual instincts become dull by more familiarity. It is stimulated by novelty. In uncivilized tribes men did not approach the women during the period of pregnancy and while she was feeding the child. Thus long period of enforced celibacy gave birth to second marriage. In uncivilized society more children were needed for agriculture, war and status recognition.
Moreover, in some tribes the birth rate was low and death rate was high. In such tribes polygyny was followed to obtain more children. According to Manu, if wife is unable to have children, man is permitted to have more marriages. He further says if a wife takes her husband then he should live with her one year and take another wife.
Polygyny was permitted in the past if wife was incapable of forming religious duties in her periodic sickness because religion was given significant place in social life. Polygyny is found only in the patriarchal society where more importance is given to males and male member is the head of the family.
In polygyny children enjoy better status. Two people make a decision to marry and further become one family. The bride and the groom exchange rings as a symbol of eternal love and fidelity. Marriage is not always celebrated, but that day will always remain in the memory of people, warming their hearts and improving their mood.
Marriage and wedding are similar definitions in many modern countries — that is why they are often used in similar cases as synonyms. After you get married, one important celebration is added to the calendar of your yearly events — wedding anniversary. A lot of couples celebrate it every year, others prefer to hold celebrations once in five years e. But each time this day reminds the wife and the husband of how young and happy they were then and allows to see how everything changed with time and once again prove that they are deeply in love and happy.
Marriages of people from different cultures are quite wide-spread as of today, as now people often migrate to other countries in search for better living conditions and lifestyles. There is no fixed age or season when a couple has to marry — it is up to people to decide.
But there are some attributes, which are similar in weddings all around the world. The most famous of them is that a bride traditionally wears white dress and a veil, and the groom is dressed in a suit. Some people ignore this common tradition and show themselves as originals — thus, everything depends on your character.
Essay Samples Definition Essay on Marriage Marriage is traditionally seen as a union of two loving hearts. Another attribute and just a good tradition Sign up to get access to all samples and get our special offers though email. By signing up, you agree to receive promo our emails.
Definition Essay on Marriage Marriage Traditions and the Change For years, ever since marriage was created, it has been through the will of God and promise of two people to .
Check out our definition essay: in it we try to define the word 'marriage'. This example shows how to write definition essays, what definition essays are and what it takes to write a good definition essay.
Here is your essay on marriage, it’s meaning, functions and forms! Marriage and family sociologically signifies the stage of greater social advancement. It is indicative of man’s entry into the world of emotion and feeling, harmony and culture. Free Essay: Marriage What does marriage mean? By definition, marriage is “the legal union of a man and a woman as husband and wife” (Webster’s Dictionary).
Free Essay: Recently, people have been arguing with respect to the definition of marriage. To get married is a very important event for almost everyone. Definition Essay on Marriage. Marriage is traditionally seen as a union of two loving hearts. Two people make a decision to marry and further become one family. The bride and the groom exchange rings as a symbol of eternal love and fidelity.