Discuss The Social And Cultural Role Of Marriage Essay

Submitted By Chloelou30
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Pages: 4

Discuss the social and cultural role of marriage. Compare and contrast at least two different examples of how marriages are used by different peoples, and consider its social and cultural meanings and roles in each context.

Marriage is one of the customs established by people, which reflects attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. Marriage is a personal relationship between two people with communal or religious acknowledgment which is often created as an agreement. Marriage is a part of almost every society or culture and is seen as either a social basis which gives structure, support and stability or is seen as a part of religion. The western society might pay more importance to love whereas other cultures might see it as a religious foundation that is compulsory to have a family.
In the 1960’s Napoleon Chagnon studied the Yanomamo tribe who are the indigenous people of the Amazon Rainforest bordering Brazil. Marriage in the Yanomamo tribe is considered to be very important even though they do not practice any actual wedding ceremony. Marriage is a social dynamic within the villages, these dynamics include the giving and receiving of girls they believe are suitable for marriage. Marriages are arranged by older male kins, usually the father of the girl. These arrangements involve a process in which girls are promised in marriage at an early age, mostly before puberty, by men who want to create alliances with other families through marriage exchange. These alliances are kept by continuing to exchange girls with the same family, however if there isn’t a female suitable for marriage, there can be a temptation to trade with another family. Trading with other families may cause tension and can lead to conflict.

According to the beliefs of Hinduism, marriage is a sacred tradition created by their gods for the welfare of human beings. Its main purpose is procreation and the continuation of human life on earth. A man and women are believed to come together as husband and wife for spiritual reasons rather than because they love each other. Marriage is not just a mutual agreement between two individuals but is a social contract as they are expected to carry out particular duties to maintain family traditions and keep their god happy. Marriage is also used to support and sustain social order as it is closely related to the Hindu caste system which tells you whom can and cannot marry. There are four main castes which are recognised by traditional Hindu society and they are primarily based on hereditary occupation. The highest caste are the Braamin, followed by the Kshatriya, then the Vaishya, then the sudra and at the bottom the untouchables. Marriages outside your own caste is prohibited to avoid inter-mixture of castes. In some cases, if a man of a braamin caste were to marry a female from a lower caste, such as the Vaishya catse, this may be allowed. However a man from the sudra caste marrying a women from a higher caste or a man from a higher caster marrying a sudra women is highly unacceptable and is never…