Chapter 7 Choosing a Marriage Partner
Chapter Outline • Love and Marriage? • The Marriage Market • Homogamy: Narrowing the Pool of Eligibles • Courtship in a Free-Choice Society • Mate Selection and Marriage Stability
Arranged Marriages • Not uncommon in the less Westernized parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa. • Couples in arranged marriages are expected to develop a loving relationship after the marriage. • Arranged marriage developed in collectivist societies based on strong extended family ties. • In these societies, marriage unites two kinship groups as well as two people.
Functions of Arranged Marriages • Affirms parent’s power over their children. • Helps keep family traditions and value systems intact. • Helps consolidate and extend family property. • Helps young people avoid the uncertainty of searching for a mate.
“If a partner had the qualities you desired, would you marry if you weren’t in love?”
Courtly Love • Most marriages in the upper levels of society during the Middle Ages were based on property and family. • Tender emotions were expressed in nonmarital relationships in which a knight worshipped his lady, and ladies had their favorites. • These relationships involved idealization, were not necessarily sexually consummated, and did not require the parties to live together.
The Marriage Market • People enter the marriage market and bargain for the best buy they can get. • Sometimes the exchange involves a bride price that the future groom pays the future bride’s family so he can marry her. • More often the exchange is accompanied by a dowry, money or property brought to the marriage by the female.
Exchange Theory • Individuals pick the relationship that is most rewarding or least costly. • In romantic relationships individuals have resources: beauty, personality, status, skills, maturity, intellect, originality, etc. • Individuals also have costly attributes: being demanding, low status, geographic inaccessibility, etc.
The Traditional Exchange • Women trade their ability to bear children and perform domestic duties, along with sexual accessibility and attractiveness, for a man’s protection, status, and support. • Both women and men can experience gender related disadvantages in the traditional exchange.
The Marriage Gradient • The tendency for women to marry “up” with regard to age, education, occupation, and earning potential. • In about 57% of U.S. married couples, the husband is two or more years older than his wife; however, the wife is older in only 11% of today’s unions.
Homogamy • People tend to marry people of similar race, age, education, religious background, and social class. • Endogamy: marrying within one’s social group. • Exogamy: marrying outside one’s group. • Heterogamy, marrying someone dissimilar in race, age, education, religion, or social class.
Reasons for Homogamy • Live in close proximity. • Culture encourages people to marry others similar to themselves. • People are more comfortable with others from similar backgrounds. • People want to strike a fair exchange.
Examples of Heterogamy • Interfaith Marriages • Interclass Marriages • Interracial/interethnic marriages
Heterogamy and Marital Stability • Differences in values and interests can result in a lack of mutual understanding. • Marriage may create conflict between the partners and parents, relatives and friends. • High divorce rate may reflect that the partners have less conventional values.
SVR- Stimulus Values Roles Filtering Sequence • Stimulus stage - interaction depends on physical attraction. • Values stage - partners compare values and determine whether they are a match. • Role compatibility - prospective spouses negotiate their marital and leisure roles.
Attachment Theory • During infancy and childhood, individuals develop a style of attaching to others. • Children learn and take for granted one of three attachment styles: • Children who trust that their needs will be met form a secure attachment style. • Children who feel abandoned are likely to acquire an insecure/anxious or an avoidant attachment style.
Purposes of Courtship Patterns • Romantic partners try to get to know each other better. • Partners gain each other's progressive commitment to marriage.
Dating • Emerged at the beginning of the 20th century, prevailed in the 1950s and early 1960s, became less popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and became popular in the 1980s. • Consists of an exclusive relationship developed through a series of appointed meetings. • Getting together is courtship in which groups of women and men meet at a party or share an activity.
Margaret Mead’s Criticisms of Dating • Encourages men and women to define heterosexual relationships as situational rather than ongoing. • Sex becomes depersonalized and genitally oriented rather than oriented to the whole person.
Margaret Mead’s Proposal: Two-stage Marriage Two stages each with a license, ceremony and responsibilities: • Individual marriage - serious commitment with limited responsibilities and no children. • Parental marriage -follows if the couple wants to continue a relationship and have children.
Cohabitation and Marriage • Marriages preceded by cohabitation are more likely to end in divorce: • People who cohabitate have liberal attitudes and are accepting of divorce. • Cohabitating affects individuals so they are more likely to divorce.
Indicators of Dating Violence • Handles ordinary disagreements with inappropriate anger or rage. • Struggles to regain self-control when a minor issue triggers anger. • Goes into tirades.
Indicators of Dating Violence • Quick to criticize or verbally mean. • Unduly jealous, restricting and controlling. • History of violence in previous relationships.
Guidelines for Ending a Relationship: David Knox • Decide that terminating the relationship is what you really want to do. • Assuming you have definitely determined to break up, prepare yourself for wavering—but don’t change your mind. • Plan the break-up discussion with your partner in person, but at a location from which you can readily withdraw.
Guidelines for Ending a Relationship: David Knox • Explain your reasons for breaking up in terms of our own values, rather than pointing out what you think is wrong with the other person. • Seek out new relationships.
Critical Elements of Maturity • Emotionalmaturity - sense of self-worth allows intimacy and interdependence. • Economic maturity - able to support self and a partner if necessary. • Value maturity- recognizes and feels confident about own personal values.
Critical Elements of Maturity • Relationship maturity • Able to understand a partner’s point of view. • Can make decisions about changing behaviors a partner doesn’t like. • Able to explain own points of view and ask for change in partner's behavior.
1. Ahmed concludes that arranged marriage performs certain functions. Which of the following is NOT one of these? • maintains sexual fidelity • affirms and strengthens parents’ power over their children • enhances the value of the kinship group • helps keep the family traditions and value systems intact
Answer: a • Ahmed concludes that arranged marriage performs certain functions. Maintaining sexual fidelity is NOT one of these.
2. Marikesh belongs to Asian Indian culture. She will soon marry. When she does, Marikesh will bring to the marriage a sum of money or property. This custom is referred to as • marital exchange. • a dowry. • bride price. • endenturement.
Answer: b • Marikesh belongs to Asian Indian culture. She will soon marry. When she does, Marikesh will bring to the marriage a sum of money or property. This custom is referred to as a dowry.
3. In the __________ stage of the SVR process, prospective spouses test and negotiate how they will play their respective marital and leisure roles. • values • role compatibility • stimulus • socialization
Answer: b • In the role compatibility stage of the SVR process, prospective spouses test and negotiate how they will play their respective marital and leisure roles.
4. In Margaret Mead’s thinking, _________ marriage involves “serious commitment…in which each partner would have a deep and continuing concern for the happiness of the other.” • two-stage • individual • Conjugal • parental
Answer: b • In Margaret Mead’s thinking,individual marriage involves “serious commitment…in which each partner would have a deep and continuing concern for the happiness of the other.”
4. Which of the following guidelines is offered by sociologist David Knox for ending a relationship? • Follow your initial thinking to its logical conclusion. • Plan the breakup discussion with your partner in person, but at a location from which you can readily withdraw. • Avoid seeking out new relationships. • Be sure to make clear what you think is wrong with the other person.
Answer: b • Which of the following guidelines is offered by sociologist David Knox for ending a relationship is: Plan the breakup discussion with your partner in person, but at a location from which you can readily withdraw.