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Ssimon 1 Scott Simon Sociology 185 Professor Micheli November 8 2000 The Institution of Marriage A Sociological Perspective According to Webster marriage is defined as the institution whereby men and women are joined in a special kind of social and legal dependence for the purpose of founding and maintaining a family That sounds simple enough however it was not always so During the seventeenth century arranged marriages were commonplace The primary purpose of marriage was to bring together family and property In the colonial period couples married for friendship Not until the 1800s did love and romance become central to marriage Now marriage is seen as the merging of individuals instead of families Since then the words love and marriage have gone hand in hand Christianity defines marriage as a holy union under god Couples accept one another for better or for worse until death do they part The church frowns upon the mere mention of divorce and although the values surrounding marriage have evolved forsaking the sacrament of marriage is a sin in the eyes of a Christian god Values such as activity and work humanitarianism religiosity and romantic love define the ideal Christian model although real culture differs somewhat External influences create variables that affect change in how individuals prioritize their values creating the real culture that more closely resembles modern society Americans place high value on Ssimon 2 achievement and success an area that is augmented through education and gauged by the accumulation of material wealth Individualism is a symptom of the economics of capitalism The individuals goals and chances for success are enhanced by efficiency and practicality which is in turn enhanced by technological progress As the costs of living increase marriage has become a convenient solution to affording better quality of life Herein lies a paradox A pair unites to combine financial resources yet continue to strive for individual successes Ironically a large number of couple
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