Sociology Essay Sample on Families Now and Then

Published: 2021-07-01 09:25:31
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Middlebury College
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The family is the basic unit of the society. The family is the root of the society thus it should be conserved at all means. This shows that the family has a role in the society. The family shapes the personality, believe system and attributes of a person. The effects of a dysfunctional family make a person dysfunctional in the society as well. Thus, the family should enable a person become a great resource in the society in the long run. A family is formed when two people of opposite sex come together in a marital agreement. There are many different marital agreements that people can observe while getting married. This paper will discuss some of the similarities in the different marital agreements that people practice during marriage.

Exogamous and Endogamous Marriages

An Exogamous marriage is one that allows marriage outside a social group such as a clan or tribe. These arrangements are observed so that people cannot marry people who have the same blood. This is what is known as multicultural marriage. The customs of every culture are observed especially during the wedding process. However, once the woman is given away in marriage, the woman observes the culture of the new family she is married in. The normal structure in such a setting is whereby the woman submits under her husband who is the head of the family and she bears children for him. The man expects submission and children while the woman expects provision, protection and care. This enables the people from the different communities to unite since the children from the union are a symbol that the two communities are in agreement.

On the other hand, Endogamous Marriages are marriages that take place between people of the same clan, community or tribe. In this practice, people can easily intermingle since people observe a similar culture. In such cases wife inheritance is popular since people are from one tribe and family. Thus, a man can inherit the wife of his brother once he dies. Men are the head of the family and decisions are made by the men as women submit.

Monogamy and Polygamy

A monogamous marriage is one that a man and a woman have agreed that they will be together until death do them apart. The death is the only cause of separation thus the people cannot engage with another partner whatsoever. The man is the head and the woman follows and lastly the children will obey them. This is the most common in the world today. It is easier to manage and commit to since the two grow ups have agreed to honor each other and respect one another.

Unlike the monogamous setting, the polygamous setting is different. It is whereby a man can marry mora than one wife. This is popular in the Muslim setting. Aman marries as many wives as he wants provided the first wife is satisfied. The first wife is more powerful than the second or the third. The command of power is tagged with the time when the man married a woman. The children of the first wife are superior than other children hence it creates the competition between children. However, some families are taught how to respect each other and love one another that develops peace in the family. This type of marriage is also open to wife inheritance whereby a man can marry a woman whose husband died.

As shown above, all the settings that people agree to comply with either made personally or dictated by the community a person comes from. Thus, a marriage is a source of unity in different communities depending on the believes and culture that people observe.

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