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Marriage (Essay Sample)

Subject:Psychology Marriage (dis) Contents 1) Write an essay (1,250 words) analyzing marriage. 2) To frame the context, consider: currently, marriage, the legal definition and composition of, is changing globally and begs the question, "What constitutes a marriage?" 3) To complete this assignment, address the following: a) Define and/or interpret marriage: to what extent is marriage culturally (religiously?) determined? b) What are different forms of marriage (arranged, convenience, interracial, economic, political, domestic partnerships, etc.)? c) Is there a particular form of marriage that you believe to be the "correct" one? If so, what do you base this on? d) Marriage is not static: What in the human psyche makes the stages of marriage inevitable? Are the stages inevitable? e) Married or cohabitating students: reflect and evaluate the current stage of your marriage or relationship. Is the marriage consistent with respect to the defined stages? f) Single students: reflect and evaluate the marital stage of someone you know. Is the marriage consistent with respect to the defined stages? g) Considering the increasing divorce rates, is marriage necessary in contemporary society? Why do people continually engage in a "dying institution?" Include a minimum of four outside references or other resources for evidentiary support one of which may include the textbook, podcast(s), or Web site(s). Prepare this assignment according to APA Style Guide. An abstract is not required. source..

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The Oxford Dictionary defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman that is officially sanctioned by the laws that govern the jurisdiction in which it takes place (2012). The dictionary also defines marriage as the union between partners of the same sex in territories where such a union is allowed by law (Oxford Dictionary, 2012). Marriage is in essence a contractual agreement, made between two persons that binds them together by law indefinitely or until one or both parties decides to terminate the arrangement (Hall, 2006). Marriage also constitutes a social institution. It is upheld by social norms, values and beliefs that define accepted standards of behavior for married couples. According to Johnston and Hausman, marriage is not restricted to the married couple but also extends to the families and friends of both parties, who are linked together by the marriage (2006). This paper examines the different dimensions of marriage and explores the future of the institution in contemporary society.
Determinants of Marriage
Decisions made by individuals in choosing marriage partners are influenced by demographic, psychological, cultural, and social factors (Dribe and Lundh, 2010). Demographic factors that influence marriage include socioeconomic status and age (Dribe and Lundh, 2010). The decision made by an individual in choosing their marriage partner may be influenced by the desired characteristics of the prospective partner in terms of these factors. According to Martin Dribe and Christer Lundh, The socioeconomic status of a heterosexual male may also determine his marital status (2010). Men who are unemployed and homeless are less likely to be married than employed men in well paid jobs. Similarly, age is a great determinant of marital status in the
United States (Dribe and Lundh, 2010). Legally, marriage is expected to occur between two adults in accordance to the law.
Culture pertains to the norms, values, beliefs and tendencies that are accepted among various societies. With regard to marriage, culture exerts influence through tradition and customs. For example, arranged marriages are integral to the traditions of many societies in Asia and are a product of culture (Marks, 2005). These norms are exported to the United States by immigrants coming from countries in this region. According to Loren Marks, Religion forms a key component of culture and also has a direct influence on marriage (2005). Different religions have different values, beliefs and conventions that guide behavior among their members. Most religions frown upon intermarriages with people of other religions therefore limiting the choice of partners that an individual has (Marks, 2010). Similarly, most of the major religious groups in the world do not condone same sex marriages despite its increasing acceptance and legalization in western society. Religion also places emphasis on the importance of marriage and is a key supporter of the institution. Most religious groups discourage divorce and emphasize the binding nature of the union.
Types of Marriage
A conventional marriage in western society is characterized by a person deciding to enter a relationship with another person out of mutual love and affection which may result in marriage after some time. This sort of marriage is influenced by personal decisions which are made by both parties (Hall, 2006). However, a person may be influenced by external forces such as family and the norms that characterize their culture. Endogamy, which is characterized by marrying in side one’s own race, social class, or ethnic group may result from familial and social pressures. Arranged marriages usually take place in the context of endogamy. Arranged marriages involve
selection of marital partners on behalf of the individuals to ...
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