Essay on Exploring The Cultural Meaning Behind Marriage

761 Words Nov 23rd, 2015 4 Pages
If an alien were to come down to Earth and watch movies about romance, they would most likely come to the conclusion that marriage is based on a mutual feeling of devotion and love between the two people involved. 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 thought to be a common 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 and the authenticity of these relationships in the mail order bride industry. 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 majority of marriages taking place in Western society are typically companionate marriages. These are based on individual choice and, “built on love, [along with] intimacy…rather than social…

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