Essay about Exploring The Cultural Meaning Behind Marriage

839 Words Nov 24th, 2015 4 Pages
In Western culture, marriage is considered to be a very big commitment between two people who have strong feelings of passion and love for one another and have decided that they want to spend the rest of their lives together. This is a wide held characteristic of marriage in Western society but the mail order bride industry causes disruption in the conventional way of thinking of matrimony. This industry raises questions of interest regarding the sanctuary of marriage in Western culture. In this paper, I will explore the cultural meaning behind marriage, who participates in the mail order bride industry along with the authenticity of these relationships compared to same-sex relationships
A marriage is described by anthropologists as an affinal relationship, “established through marriage and / or alliance [and] not through biology or common descent” (Guest 2014: 360). There are many reasons for marriage such as “create connection…and [form] alliance between groups” (Guest 2014: 360). This is mostly done with arranged marriages which are prominent in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the Pacific. The large part of marriages taking place in Western society is typically companionate marriages. These are based on individual choice and, “built on love, [along with] intimacy…rather than social obligation” (Guest 2014: 361). The mail order bride industry produces a contradiction against this cultural norm because it shows Western culture is not as flexible as they would like to…

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