Marriage: questions for analysis

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MARRIAGE: Thinking About the Presentations

We have examined the notion of Marriage from different angles (through a song, an essay, oral presentations on different aspects of Marriage). Let usreflect on the information we gathered and discuss some of our ideas.

Respond to the following questions in your notebook:

1. Do you think there is a unifying thread that connects marriages acrosscultures? Or are marriages are really so different in each culture that they have nothing in common?

2. We learned that marriage has been used as a business transaction between families. Has thisreally changed in the 21st century? That is, is it no longer an economic contract?

3. We also learned that in some cultures there is the practice of arranging marriages, where somebody else (inmost cases the parents but it could be somebody else from the community) decides for the individual who is the most suitable spouse for her or him. Are there cultures in which there is a "happy medium"in which you decide who you are going to marry but the families and communities also have a say in the decision? Explain. Is this idea of arranged marriages really so far from the idea of datingsites (e.g. Match.com, etc.) where somebody else chooses your "matches"?

4. Have the roles of men and women in marriage (gender roles) reached such a level of equality that they are completelyinterchangeable? That is, Can a man be expected to play the role a woman is expected to play in marriage and vice versa without any problems and without an extra burden of the expectations that come withthat role?

5. Who established marriage as an institution? What was the purpose of doing so?

6. The subject of Same Sex Marriage seemed to cause quite a stir in the opinions of students in theclassroom. To discuss this further I propose we hold a debate where we can all respectfully voice our opinions in class. For this I want you to be able to spell out your opinion but justify it with...
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