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The sociological concept I have chosen in the institution of marriage Marriage is a legally sanctioned relationship usually involving economic cooperation as well as normative sexual activity and childbearing that people expect to be enduring The first characteristic of marriage is that it is a legally sanctioned relationship In other words marriage is a formal relationship that is recognized and bound by law In western societies marriages are begun with weddings as a means to publicly announce the legal union of the couple Marriages are performed by religious representatives member of the clergy or by marriage commissioners licensed by the province to perform marriages Just in 1998 151224 marriages were registered with Vital Statistics The second characteristic of marriage is economic cooperation Economic cooperation is a joint effort relating to the management of finances and household matters Husbands and wives divide economic activities and domestic work between them according to traditional and approved ideas of mans and womans work Traditionally the husband worked outside of the home and was responsible for the finances while the wife worked inside of the home taking care of domestic or household duties such as cooking cleaning and caring for the children Generally though the strength of the more traditional attitudes to sex-differentiated roles in the marriage has weakened In this era of post-industrialism wives and husbands are sharing more of the responsibility for providing income for the family There is also more sharing of the household duties but most married women working outside of the home still do the majority of regular housework The third characteristic of marriage that I will be discussing is normative sexual activity and childbearing A primary although not essential purpose of marriage is the procreation of children therefore sex is always recognized as a legitimate part of marriage The 1996 Canadian census reports that most married couples have one or two children Traditionally it was
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