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Marriage

  • By: Carolyn J. Peters
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Marriage is a legal, economic, domestic, and/or mating relationship. Marriage is defined and practiced in diverse ways in different parts of the world. Culture, religion, values, economics, and changes through history have affected the way marriage is understood. As marriage has become a political entity, there are diverse beliefs about the utility of marriage. The dissolution and effects of ending the marriage contract have an impact for the many people involved. Frequently, marriage is understood to be a prerequisite for having and raising children, thereby symbolizing the beginning of the developing mother or father roles.

Historical Views of Marriage

Research on marriage suggests that in ancient Roman and Greek cultures, marriage was not just a personal relationship, but grounded in an economic arrangement between two families. Thus, ...

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