Family, Household, and Marriage | Sociology Optional UPSC (Notes)

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Family, Household, and Marriage

Family:

Early and classical definitions of family emphasised that it was a group of people who were married, lived together, had social ties, and agreed to do each other’s chores.The family has also been described as a group built on marriage, the rights and responsibilities of parenthood, living together, and the way parents and children treat each other. Some analysts think that the family is a social group that lives together, works together to make money, and has children.

A Few Common Definitions:

People have always thought of the family as one of the most important parts of society.Burgess and Lock say that a family is a group of people who are related by marriage, blood, or adoption and live together in one house. They interact with each other in their social roles as husband and wife, mother and father, brother and sister, and so on, to create a shared culture.G.P. Murdock says that a family is a group of people who live together, work together, and have children.It’s made up of adults of both sexes, at least two of whom have a socially accepted sexual connection, and one or more of the adults’ own or adopted children.

Nimkoff says that a family is a strong bond between a man and a woman, with or without children, or between a man or a woman living alone with children.Maclver says that a family is a group of people whose sexual relationships are clear and stable enough to allow them to have children and raise them. Kingsley Davis says that a family is a group of people whose relationships are based on consanguinity and who are therefore related.Malinowski thought that the family is the place where a society’s traditional traditions are passed on to the next generation. This important job couldn’t be done unless the relationships with parents and children were based on power and respect on both sides.Talcott Parsons said that homes are factories where people’s personalities are made.

Based on the above meanings of family, it seems that the family is the most important unit of kinship, with roles in sexuality, reproduction, economics, and education.We usually think of a family as a long-term relationship between a husband and wife, with or without children, or a long-term relationship between a man and a woman, with or without children.So, family members live together, share their money and work together, and have children.People also think of a family as an adult man and woman living together with their children in a relationship that is more or less stable, like marriage, and is accepted by their society.

In the end, we can say:

1. It means that two people of different sexes have a sexual relationship;

2. It means that they will be living together;

3. It means that at least one of them expects the relationship to last for a long time;

Most importantly, the partnership is defined by culture and accepted by society.Marriage and having a family are not things that people just do on their own. Some of the rules about how they should treat each other are set by their society. Marriage is the foundation of the family. This is a fact that everyone knows and agrees on. Marriage is a special kind of relationship because it’s how families start and stay together, and families are the most important part of human culture.

Main characteristics about a family:

Universality:

There is no human society where the family doesn’t show up in some way. Malinowski says that the normal family is made up of a mother, a father, and their children. This kind of family can be found in all societies, whether they are wild, barbaric, or civilised. This is because everyone needs to have sex, everyone wants to have children, and everyone needs to make money.

Emotional foundation:

The family is based on feelings and emotions. It is built on our urges to mate, have children, love our mothers, love our brothers, and care for our parents. It is based on love, respect, sympathy, friendship, and working together.

Limited size:

The family is smaller than it used to be. As a main group, it has to have a small size. It is the smallest group of people.

Formative influence:

The child’s family creates a setting that teaches and trains him or her. It forms the personalities and characters of the people who are a part of it. It affects how the child feels.

Nuclear position in the social structure

The family is the centre of all other social groups; it is the “nucleus” of the social system. Family groups are the building blocks of society as a whole.

Responsibility of the members

Family members have certain responsibilities, jobs, and obligations. MacIver says that men may work, fight, and die for their country in times of trouble, but they work their whole lives for their families.

Social rules:

The family is protected by both social taboos and the law. The group takes care to make sure that this organisation doesn’t fall apart.

From a functionalist point of view:

From a functionalist point of view, society is a group of social structures that work together to keep things going and make sure everyone agrees. From this point of view, the family does important things that help meet the basic needs of society and keep things running smoothly.

In every society, the family is an organisation that grows out of people working together to get things done.

G. P. MURDOCK

G. P. Murdock said that family serves four purposes. He calls these common roles “sexual,” “reproductive,” “economic,” and “educational.”

The sexual function

The sexual role of the family is making sure that its members behave sexually in a certain way. Even though a husband and wife are married, they have the right to sexual pleasure. However, the threat to social order that comes from sexual freedom is stopped.

Reproductive function

Reproductive function is the process of making babies, which brings new people into a society. This keeps the society going and makes sure that children born to married parents don’t have to deal with the shame of being illegitimate.

Economic production or the extended family

The extended family is an example of a place where both production and spending go hand in hand. All of the family members own the property together, and at the same time, their connection is like that of an employee and boss. In many financial issues, the head of the family made the final decision.

The educational function

The extended family’s educational role includes both primary and secondary socialisation, but both happen in an informal setting. In primary socialisation, the older family members teach the new family members the basics of their culture. They also teach the new family members the craft and skills they need to help make money.

It could be seen in the traditional Indian Varna system, where life was split into four Astramas and activities were divided into four Purusharthas called Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksh. Kama and Artha are very important in Grihstha Ashram. Kama means satisfying sexual wants and having children, while Artha was responsible for making sure the family had enough money to live on. Dharma’s job was to teach kids how to get along with others. In this way, Murdock’s categorization can be proven or shown to be correct.

Maciver:

MacIver has talked about two roles of family: those that are important and those that are not.

Essential Function:

  • Getting your sexual needs met –
  • Having children and raising them

Setting up a house is a way for family members to become closer.

Non important Functions:

1. Economic functions: MacIver thinks of the joint family as a “unit of production” because all the essential goods for consumption are made and prepared at home by family members. They don’t have to count on anyone else for these goods. In the same way, a nuclear family is a “unit of consumption.”

  • Religious function
  • Educational function
  • Health related function
  • Recreational function

Talcott parsons:

In the functionalist tradition, Talcott Parsons has thought that the nuclear family has certain roles to play in modern communities. With the rise of industrialization, the family became less important as a unit of economic output and more important for reproduction, raising children, and socialising.

Talcott Parsons, an American psychologist, says that the family’s two main roles are to help people make friends and to keep their personalities stable. Primary socialisation is the process by which children learn the traditional norms of the society in which they are born.Because this happens in a child’s early years, the family is the most important place for personality development. Personality stabilisation is the idea that a person’s family is the most important place for him or her to grow up. Personality stabilisation is the way in which family helps adults feel better mentally. When a man and a woman are both adults, they get married. This is a good way to keep their personalities strong and healthy.In an industrial society, the family is said to play a very important part in making adults more stable. This is because the nuclear family is often far away from its extended family and can’t rely on bigger kinship ties like families could before industrialization.

Parsons thought that the nuclear family was best able to deal with the needs of a modern society. One adult in the family can work outside the home while the other takes care of the home and the kids.In a real sense, this separation of roles in the nuclear family meant that the husband took on the role of the breadwinner and the wife took on the role of the emotional carer at home.

Criticism:

In this day and age, parson’s view of the family seems wrong and out of touch. Functionalist theories of the family have taken a lot of heat for saying that the fact that men and women do different jobs around the house is normal and not a problem. But the ideas make more sense when you look at them in their own historical context. In the years right after the war, women went back to their traditional jobs at home and men went back to being the main breadwinners. However, we can criticise functionalist views of the family in other ways.

When theorists talk about how important the family is for certain tasks, they don’t talk about how other social organisations, like the government, the media, and schools, also play a role in socialising children.

The ideas also don’t take into account different types of family that don’t fit the model of the nuclear family. People thought that families who didn’t fit the white, suburban, middle-class ideal were bad.

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Marxist Point of View:

Marxists (Engels and Katleen Gough): The Marxists have another point of view. Angels say that family changes as the way people make things changes. When work tools were owned by everyone, there was no family and promiscuity was the norm.

Katleen Gough agrees with this. She points out that chimpanzees, which are the closest living cousins of humans, live in groups of different mates. This may have been how early humans lived, too. Engels said that the number of girls a person could have was limited more and more with each new stage of change or production.With the rise of private property and the need to impose the rule of monogamous marriage, the monogamous nuclear family was born.

Vogel and Bell have given a bad theory based on the results of a large study of American families with a child with emotional problems. They said that when parents have an argument that isn’t solved, the kid often feels the tension and anger. So, the parents use the child as a mental scapegoat to get rid of their stress.The parents’ use of the child as a scapegoat helped them keep their personalities in check and kept the family together. But a child has to pay for this kind of togetherness.

Edmund Leach: He has focused on family and the community as a whole.Today, the home is an island, and the family is focused on itself. There is more mental stress between husband and wife, parents and children, and children and parents. Most people can’t handle this much stress. When the nuclear family has to rely almost entirely on its own resources, it’s like an electricity circuit that’s too full. Too much is being asked of it, so the fuse blows.Leach says that the parents and children who are lonely and close together take too much from each other. Most people can’t handle this much stress. When parents fight, kids act out.”

R.D. Laing:. He called the family unit a “nexus.” He said that reciprocal worry is the most important thing about the nexus. Each person cares what the other person thinks, feels, and does. Within the nexus, there is an ongoing need for care and attention from both sides. Because of this, there is a lot of risk of harm, and family members are in a very weak situation. So, if a father is mad at his son, because of the way nexus works, the son cares about what his father thinks and can’t just let it go. In order to protect himself, he might run to his mother, who will guard him. Laing says that a family can protect each other from each other’s violence in this way, just like a gangster would. Laing says that all troubles in society can be traced back to the family.Some families are always worried about the outside world hurting them. Also, the most dangerous thing about the family is that siblings are taught to be obedient. Later in life, they become officials and accept orders without question.

David Cooper: He told everyone in the family that they had died.He also says that the family is bad for the child because it teaches him how to fit in with society so he can stay alive. Every child has the potential to be an artist, a thinker, or a revolutionary, but in the family, this potential is crushed. The kids are taught how to play the parts of son and daughter, male and female.

In short, these three sociologists give a different point of view to the functionalist view of family.

Feminist Point of View:

Sociology has been changed a lot by feminism, which challenges the idea that the home is a place of peace and equality.Sociology of the family used to focus on family structures, the history of the nuclear and extended family, and the value of kinship ties. Feminism was able to shift the focus inside the family to look at women’s experiences in the home.

Many feminist writers have questioned the idea that the family is a group of people who work together and support each other because they have similar interests.They have tried to show that when people in a family have different levels of power, some people tend to get more out of it than others.

In the 1960s and 1970s, several female writers looked at Engels’s ideas in more depth.According to them, the family is a unit that makes one of the most important things in capitalism—work. It’s cheap for capitalists because they don’t have to pay children to make it or take care of them. The wife didn’t have to pay anything to have and raise children.

“As an economic unit, the nuclear family is a variable stabilising force in a capitalist society,” said Margret Benson. Since there is only one worker in the workplace, the husband pays for the wife at home with the money he makes.Another family not only makes cheap labour, but also keeps it in good shape without charging the boss. As housewives, women take care of their husbands’ needs. So, keeping him in good shape so he can do his job as a paid worker.

Ian Ashley says that the mental support a wife gives her husband helps him deal with the frustration he feels from working in a capitalist system.In her words, the bosses feel safer when there is no room for any worker to look for signs of a possible uprising.

Lastly, it is said that the social reproduction of work is more than just having children and making sure they are healthy. It helps to keep alive the attitudes that are needed for a docile work force in a capitalist system.

Feminist works have focused on a wide range of topics, but there are three main ones that are especially important.

One of the most important things to think about is how members of a family divide up the work. There’s reason to think that there was a division of labour at home before industrialization, but it seems clear that capitalist production made the difference between work and home much clearer.This process led to the formation of “male spheres” and “female spheres,” as well as power dynamics that are still felt today.Up until recently, most industrialised countries were based on the male breadwinner model.

Feminist sociologists have looked at how men and women divide up domestic jobs like taking care of children and cleaning the house. They have looked into claims like that of the symmetrical family (Young and Wilmott), which says that families are becoming more equal in how jobs and responsibilities are shared over time.Findings show that women still do most of the housework and have less free time than men, even though more women are working outside the home than ever before.

Second, women have brought attention to the fact that many families have unequal power relationships.Domestic abuse is one thing that has gotten more attention because of this. Feminists say that the violent and abusive parts of family life have been ignored for a long time in both academic and legal and policy groups. This has brought more attention to things like wife beating, marital rape, incest, and the sexual abuse of children.

A third area where feminists have made important changes is the study of caring actions. This is a big field that includes a lot of different things, from taking care of a sick family member to taking care of an elderly relative for a long time. Sometimes care means just being aware of how someone else is feeling mentally. Several feminist writers have been curious about how feelings work in partnerships. Not only do women often take on concrete jobs like cleaning and taking care of children, but they also put a lot of time and effort into their personal relationships.

Post Modernist:

A postmodernist view of the family is the opposite of a functionalist view of the family. Postmodernists think that most societies have different kinds of families that come from different cultures, and that the people in these families are free to choose how, where, and with whom they live, work, and communicate. Postmodernists also think that everyone should have the same chances in schooling, health care, and family support because, in most societies, they don’t think there are working and ruling classes.

Zietlin et al. sums up this view of the world by saying, “The postmodern world is shaped by pluralism, democracy, religious freedom, consumerism, mobility, and increasing access to news and entertainment” (Zeitlin class handout 2009.92).

Criticisms: Because they believe in equal opportunities, freedom of speech, and freedom of choice, they don’t take into account the fact that some people can and do make bad decisions by ignoring the norms and values that have been passed down from generation to generation, which upsets the social control in some societies.

Postmodernists disagree with Marxists and Functionalists. They say that at the end of the 20th century, society began to move into a “postmodern” phase, which is a fundamentally new type of society. The new postmodern society has two main characteristics: fragmentation of cultures and lifestyles and the freedom for people to make their own identities and live their lives however they want.

Rapid change • Rapid change has made life predictable and orderly. • New technology and the media break down existing barriers of time and space and change work and leisure patterns. • As a result, the family has become less stable, but people have more choices about intimate relationships and domestic arrangements. For example, people can choose to cohabit, get divorced, have children (their own or adopted) outside of marriage, come out as gay, live alone, etc.

Contemporary perspective:

In the last ten years, there has been a lot of important social writing about the family that draws on feminist ideas but is not only based on them.Larger changes in family structures are the most important thing to worry about.

1. The making and breaking up of families and households, as well as how people’s expectations change in their personal interactions.

2. With more divorces and single parents,

3. The growth of blended families and gay families, and

4. How many people live together.

are all things that cause worry. But we can’t understand these changes without looking at the bigger changes that are happening in our late modern age.

The Change of Intimacy, by Anthony Giddiness

Before modern times, most people didn’t get married because they were sexually attracted to each other or because they were in love. Instead, they got married for economic reasons, like to start a family or pass on property. For the peasants, a life of constant hard work probably didn’t make them feel sexually passionate, but men had plenty of chances to have affairs outside of their marriages.

After the 18th century, a new kind of love called “romantic love” emerged, which was different from the almost universal forces of “passionate love.” Even though romantic love is supposed to lead to an equal relationship based on mutual desire, men tend to be in charge more often than women.

Many men dealt with the conflict between romantic love and passionate love by separating the “comfort of the wife and home” from “the sexuality of the mistress, girl friend, or prostitute.”The double standard was that a woman should stay a virgin until the right guy comes along, but men didn’t have to follow the same rule.

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Giddens says that the structure of close relationships has changed again in the most recent phase of modernity. There has been a change in how libido works. People in modern countries have more choices than ever before about when, how often, and with whom they have sex. With flexible sexuality, sexuality and reproduction can be kept separate.This is partly because of better ways to prevent pregnancy and childbirth, which have freed most women from the fear of having multiple, dangerous pregnancies and births.

But technology wasn’t the only thing that led to the rise of flexible sexuality. The most important thing was the rise of a sense of self that could be selected.This is an example of how social reflexivity is growing.

With the rise of plastic sexuality, the way love works is changing. Giddens said that the ideas of romantic love are breaking up and that “confluent love” is taking their place. Love at the same time is both busy and changeable.

When people got married because of romantic love, they were usually stuck with each other no matter how their relationship changed.People now have more choices. Before, getting a divorce was hard or impossible. Now, married people don’t have to stay together if their relationship doesn’t work.

People are less interested in relationships based on romantic passion and more interested in the ideal of the pure relationship, in which a pair stays together because they want to. As the idea of love that works for both people becomes more real, the idea of finding the Mr. or Mrs. Right becomes less important and the idea of finding the right relationship becomes more important.The pure relationship stays together because both people agree that, for now, they are getting enough out of the relationship to make it worth it for them to stay together.

Each person in the relationship keeps an eye on their own worries to see if the relationship is giving them enough happiness for it to continue.

The Normal Chaos of Love in the Family, by Ulrich Beck and Elizabeth Beck Gernsheim

In their 1995 book “The Normal Chaos of Love,” beck and beck-Gernsheim look at how relationships, marriages, and family structures can be rocky in a world that is changing quickly. They say that the practises, rules, and guidelines that used to govern personal relationships no longer apply, and that people now have an endless number of options when it comes to building, changing, improving, or breaking up the relationships they make with others.

Now, people get married because they want to, not because they have to or because their family wants them to. This brings both new freedoms and new stresses.

Beck and Gernsheim think that our time is one where family, work, love, and the freedom to follow individual goals all clash. This clash is felt most strongly in human relationships, especially when there are two careers to manage instead of one. By this, the writers mean that more and more women are getting jobs over the course of their lives, just like men. In the past, women were more likely to work outside the home part-time or take a lot of time off from their jobs to raise their children. These patterns aren’t as set in stone as they used to be, because both men and women now focus on their work and personal needs. Beck and Beck-Gersheim come to the conclusion that relationships in the modern world are about a lot more than just relationships. They are now about work, politics, economics, professions, and inequality, as well as love, sex, children, marriage, and housework.Modern pairs have to deal with a wide range of problems, from the simple to the complex.

So, maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise that men and women are getting more and more angry with each other.Beck and Beck Gernsheim say, “The battle between the sexes is the central drama of our time.” This is shown by the growth of the marriage counselling business, family courts, marriage self-help groups, and divorce rates.But marriage and family life are still very important to people, even though they seem more fragile than ever. Divorce is becoming more common, but the number of people who marry again is high. Even though the number of births is going down, there is a big need for fertility treatments. Even though less people are getting married, the desire to live with someone as a couple is still very strong. Why do these different things keep happening?

Authors say that the fight between men and women today is the strongest sign of “people’s hunger for love.” People get married because they love each other and get divorced because they love each other. They go through a never-ending circle of hoping, regretting, and trying again. Even though there are a lot of problems between men and women, there is still a lot of hope and faith that people can find true love and happiness.

You might think that the answer “love” is too simple for our complicated time. But Beck and Gernsheim say that love is becoming more and more important because our world is so big, impersonal, vague, and quickly changing. The writers say that love is the only way for people to find themselves and connect with others.

Household:

A family is made up of all the people who live in a single home. A housing unit is a house, a flat, a mobile home, a group of rooms, or just one room that is used as a separate living space or is meant to be used as such if it is empty.Separate living quarters are places where people live and eat alone from everyone else in the building and can get in directly from the outside or through a shared hall. The people who live there could be a single family, a single person, two or more families, or any other group of people who share living arrangements.

The household is a group of people who live together and do chores together. It is similar to the definitions above. Care can be given by one homeowner to another, based on the needs, skills, and maybe even disabilities of each person. Depending on how many people live in a household, each person may have different life and health goals and results. Some community services and welfare payments may depend on how many people live in a household.

In sociology, the word “household work strategy,” which was made up by Ray Pahl, refers to how members of a household divide up their work, either unconsciously or after making a decision after weighing the pros and cons of each option.It is a plan for the relative placement of family members who work in one of three areas:

In a market economy, including self-employed second jobs from home, people work to make money so they can buy goods and services in the market.

Domestic production work, like growing a garden or keeping chickens, that is done only to feed the family; and

Work for domestic consumption provides goods and services directly to the family. For example, cooking meals, taking care of children, fixing things around the house, or making clothes and gifts. Strategies for doing housework can change over the course of a person’s life, as family members age, or as the economy changes. They can be set by one person or chosen by the whole family.

Feminism looks at how gender roles affect the way work gets done around the house. Sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild’s book “The Second Shift and The Time Bind” shows that men and women in two-career couples work about the same amount of time on average, but women still spend more time doing chores. In response to Hochschild’s claims, feminist writer Cathy Young says that women may sometimes stop men from doing as much cleaning and parenting as women do.

Marriage

Marriage is the socially accepted way for two or more people to start a family. It includes the right to have and raise children, which is sometimes seen as a formal step towards marriage. It also includes a lot of other rights and responsibilities that touch a lot of people.

The real point of marriage is to accept a new status that comes with new rights and responsibilities, and for others to recognise this new status. Wedding ceremonies and customs are just ways to let people know and make a big deal out of this change.

When it comes to marriage, our ethnocentrism stands out.We think it’s normal for parents to set up and force a marriage between two people who may never have met. How do they know if they’ll fall in love? Why aren’t their wants taken into account? Our reaction shows the usual mistake of ethnocentrism, which is to think that people from other cultures won’t think and feel the same way we would if we were in their position.

Type of Marriages:

Polygyny is a way of getting married where one man marries more than one woman at the same time. It has two kinds.

Sororal polygyny is a type of marriage where the women who get married are always sisters. People sometimes call it “sororate.”

Non-sororal polygyny means that the wives are not sisters. This is a type of marriage.

Polyandry is when one woman gets married to more than one man. It doesn’t happen as often as polygyny. It comes in two kinds:

Fraternal polyandry is when two or more brothers marry the same woman. This is also called alelphic or fraternal polyandry. Levirate is the act of being a mate or a possible mate to one of one’s husband’s brothers. There are a lot of Todas who have it.

Non-fraternal polyandry: In this kind, the husband doesn’t have to have been close to the wife before they got married. The wife goes to each husband to spend some time with him. As long as a woman stays with one of her husbands, the others have no right to her.

Monogamy is a type of marriage in which one man marries one woman. It is the most popular and accepted type of marriage.

Serial monogamy: In many societies, people can get married again after their first spouse dies or they get divorced, but they can’t have more than one partner at the same time.

Straight monogamy: This means that you can’t get married again.

Group marriage is when two or more women get married to two or more guys. Here, the husbands and wives are just like any other husbands and wives. People look at children as the children of the whole group.

Monogamy is a type of marriage in which only one woman marries a man at a time, and the same is true for men. There are three ways to think about marriage. One is group marriage, which is when more than one man and more than one woman get married to each other. Even though this is an interesting idea in theory, there is no real society that has totally institutionalised group marriage, with the possible exception of the Marquesans at one time (Murdock).Polyandry is a very rare type in which more than one man has the same wife. One of the few things we can use as an example is the Todas of southern India. Here, as in most other places, polyandry was fraternal, which meant that when a woman married a man, she immediately became the wife of all his brothers. They all lived together without much jealousy or fighting. When you learn that the Toda lived in a harsh climate where food was scarce and female infanticide was used to keep the population down (Murdock), you can understand why they had more than one husband.Polyandry is likely to happen only when there aren’t enough women because of something (Unni).But the small number of societies that do practise polyandry show that something that seems against human nature to us can still be the normal and chosen way of life for people who are raised to expect it. The most common type of polygamy is polygyny, which means having more than one wife. These wives are usually not cousins and are usually taken at different times in a person’s life.

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In many countries with more than one wife, the second wife was like the second Cadillac in our society. Instead of being angry, the first wife often told her husband to get more wives, which he did. The first wife was usually the queen bee of the new wives. In practise, polygyny took many different forms in different societies, all of which are very different from what an ethnocentric American would think of. Polygyny is becoming less common in most developing countries, but it is still popular in tribal areas that are far away from other people.

Rules of Marriage: No society gives its people complete freedom to choose who they want to marry. Endogamy and exogamy are the two main rules that affect how people choose to get married.

Endogamy is a marriage rule that says life partners should come from the same group. It is when two people from the same group get married. The group can be a caste, class, tribe, race, town, religion, etc. We have caste endogamy, class endogamy, sub caste endogamy, race endogamy, and tribal endogamy, etc. In caste endogamy, the couple must be from the same caste. Brahmins can only marry other Brahmins. In sub caste endogamy, it only happens within the same sub caste.

Exogamy is a rule about marriage that says a person must marry someone outside of his own group. It says that people can’t marry within the group. The people who claim to be blood cousins shall not marry or have sexual relations with each other.Examples of exogamy:

Gotra exogamy is when a Hindu marries someone outside of his or her own gotra.

Pravara Exogamy: People from the same pravara can’t get married to each other.

Village Exogamy: Some Indian groups, like the Naga, the Garo, and the Munda, marry people from other villages.

Pinda Exogamy: People who have the same panda or sapinda (parents in common) can’t marry within their own group.

Isogamy is when two people of equal status get married.

Anisogamy is a marriage between two people from different social classes that is not symmetrical. It can be either hypergamy or hypogamy.

Hypergamy is when a woman marries a guy from a higher Varna, caste, or family.

Hypogamy is when a guy from a higher caste marries a woman from a lower caste.

Orthogamy is when two people from different groups get married.

Cerogamy is when two or more guys marry two or more women at the same time.

Choice of Spouse: The process of setting up a marriage shows a wide range of interesting options. As we’ve seen, some societies have a rule that says the children of certain publicly defined Kinsfolk should marry each other.The couples can do what they want, though sometimes their parents can give advice or stop them.The parents can set up the marriage whether or not the pair wants it. A wife may be bought, or there may be a complicated exchange of gifts between families. Wives have been taken before. In some parts of the world, each of these models is the normal way to set up a marriage. All of them work in the society where they are found and are supported by the beliefs and customs of that society.The Tasmanians were very good at capturing wives because they practised village polygamy and didn’t care much about how different one woman was from the others.It would be less useful in our society. This shows the idea of cultural relativism, which says that a pattern that works well in one culture might not work so well in another.

How Marriage Changes:

Changes brought on by industrialization and urbanisation have had a big effect on marriage all over the world. Even though different societies and different groups within each society have reacted differently to industrialization and urbanisation, there are still some clear trends in how marriage has changed.

Changes in the Ways People Get Married: Societies that have always had more than one marriage are moving towards monogamy. Even in societies where polygamy is legal, the number of polygamous marriages and people with more than one wife is going down. This is because women’s standing is getting better and they are becoming less dependent on men. In India, the Hindu Marriage Act has made it illegal to marry more than one person. Even in a Muslim country like Pakistan, laws were passed that said the Kazi could only marry more than one person if the first wife gave her written permission. The idea of romantic and love marriage, in which one person is seen as the perfect partner, has also contributed to the rise of monogamy. But it might be wrong to think that this move towards monogamy means that people want to be straight monogamists. Even though marriage is unstable in modern society and the marriage bond can be broken, people are still ready to risk another marriage to find happiness. Parents and friends feel the same way about this. Because of this, societies are more likely to move towards serial monogamy than to keep straight monogamy.

Changes in Mate Choice: In traditional societies like India, where parents and older people made all the decisions about who to marry, a dent has been made. Young men and women are getting more and more of a say in who they want to date. They used to have no say in who they got married to, but now they are informed and their permission is asked for. Sons and girls from urban middle-class families even have the right to say “no” to marriage proposals that were made by other family members. In more advanced and open-minded urban homes, parents are now giving their children chances to meet potential partners. In India, it has become common for people from the urban middle class to find a partner through newspaper ads. The most recent change is said to be the use of computers to bring together people who might be good partners.

Changes in the Age of Marriage: In India, where child marriages were traditionally legal, preferred, and encouraged, social reformers tried to stop this practise. In 1929, the Child Marriage Restraint Act, also known as the Sarda Act, was approved. Even though modern industry and urbanisation changed things, people still got married young, especially in the countryside. Even in cities, there was a strong desire to marry off a girl as soon as possible. But because more and more girls are going to school and college and want to get jobs, and because most boys have trouble “settling down” in life, the age at which they get married is being pushed up. Also, as part of its policy on population, the government has set the minimum age of marriage for girls at 18 and for boys at 20. In cities, on the other hand, most weddings happen when people are older than these minimum ages.

Changes in Marriage Rituals and Customs: Modern changes in India create a strange situation for us. With more technology and science coming into people’s lives, it was thought that a secular-scientific worldview would develop, and non-essential traditions and customs would be thrown out in general. In all communities, religious and social reformers have always asked people to stop spending money on useless practises and traditions. But observations show that, contrary to what enlightened people might think, marriages in India are becoming more traditional when it comes to rituals and customs. Today, many rituals and traditions that seemed to be dying out soon after freedom are coming back to life. Some of this recovery can be attributed to wealth. There are a lot of wealthy people in society who can spend a lot of money on weddings, and the less wealthy often try to be friends with the wealthy.

Changes in Marriage: Goals and Stability: As we’ve seen, the most important goal of marriage in traditional societies has been to have children. In all cultures, having a lot of children gave their parents a better status, and among Hindus, sons were especially wanted. So, having a big family was one of the most important goals of marriage, and the gifts given to the bride and groom included hopes that they would have many children. But the way people live now makes it hard to have a big family. Even people with three or four kids are looked down upon. Several Third World countries are aware of the problems that growing populations can cause, so they are trying to get people to have smaller families. Many of these have policies that say they want to limit the number of people in a family. In fact, India was the first country to have a government-run scheme for family planning. People in Asian and African countries with fair governments are being educated hard to help them understand and accept the benefits of having fewer children. China has also put in place a very strict plan to control the number of people living there. Couples who don’t stop having children will be punished or face other penalties. All of these attempts are slowly changing how people in India and other places think about things. People are starting to realise that it’s better to have about two healthy, well-cared-for kids than a lot of kids who can’t be fed, dressed, or cared for properly.

As having children and being a parent become less important, other goals of marriage, like being with your partner and getting mental support from your children, are becoming more important. In fact, younger people today get married because they want to be happy and complete themselves. Things that make marriages unstable are likely to get worse instead of better in the future. Our attitudes, beliefs, and ideas about marriage are also changing.

So, what will happen to marriage?Predictions about social life are hard and dangerous. But it doesn’t look like marriage, which is a big part of both an individual’s and a group’s life, will ever be given up and left behind. If data from the West is any indication, high divorce rates do not mean that people will stop getting married. Even though some marriages are unstable, people will still try to find happiness in marriage.