Comparison Of Arranged Marriage And Free Choice Marriage

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The earliest concept of marriage dates back centuries ago; it is the union between two people. Although, some of its concepts remain controversial like the practice of child marriage in some cultures. In modern times, it is mostly defined as the union between two consenting adults. Perhaps, marriage evolves and matures through time, for instance the idea of marriage varies on the perspective of different cultures. There are two options in marriage; arranged and free choice union, either way can be a viable option for an individual who chooses to commit their life with someone. Hence, the main goal is to show stability and strength throughout time. Marriage develops and changes through time; it is plastid and adaptive. Marriage can be a start of an alliance, a combination of wealth, an elevation of one’s status in society or even a reason to start a family. Marriage comes in many forms and there are various ways in which marriage is seen, in a religious context, marriage is considered sacred and bound for life. For instance, traditional monarchy sees marriage to strengthen alliance between neighboring kingdoms. In other cultures, marriage is seen as more like a family alliance rather than a bond between two people who chose to spend the rest of their lifetime together. Thus, it is more of a commitment and an obligation to their respective families.

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Cultures shape our perception of reality; it serves as a blueprint of how we can live our daily life. The different subsistence patterns that a culture practices can affect how they choose to form a union with someone. The purpose of marriage is profound in every culture. In a postindustrial society where intensive agriculture is the norm, the members of the community might be able to have the freedom to choose their partners and be married to them. The convenient lifestyle can influence the type of partners they choose for themselves. On the other hand, in a foraging and pastoral society where men are the primary subsistence provider, a woman’s choice might be influenced by the fact that her parents must ensure that she would end up with someone who will provide her needs. Although, foraging societies keep their population small and limited because they move from place to place. It can guarantee that resources are scarce and available for each member of their community. The type of subsistence strategy may also affect the gender roles each member of a society assumes. In a way, it can guarantee that all tasks and responsibilities are performed by each member of their community.

Furthermore, arranged marriage and free choice marriage are two different ways involved in the union of two people. Arranged marriage is more of a parent’s agenda than a personal decision. It has been the norm for the past centuries or decades. Arranged marriage can ensure that one’s children will be safe and stable in the long run. It involves two parties that are bound together by their parents either in birth or when their parents found a suitable partner for them. Arranged marriage have some advantages like removing the burden of finding a suitable partner, family involvement, financial security, and preserving family traditions and culture. Considering all those aspects can sound like a breeze. Thus, the concept of arranged marriage can ensure that both parties involved are secure and balanced. If there’s any conflict between two married people, their parents can intervene and help them resolve their conflicts. By practicing arranged marriage it can preserve the lifelong traditions and cultures of one’s family. On the other hand, arranged marriage has some fair share of disadvantages. There are two types of arranged marriage: traditional and modern marriage. In a traditional marriage, parents choose one spouse for their child. In a modern marriage, the latter has different options and gets to choose their future spouse. Marriage is a lifelong commitment between two individuals. In the case of arranged marriage, there’s a tendency to start a relationship with someone you don’t know and rather someone you don’t have a connection with. The essence of a working relationship is equality and trust that’s why the potential drawbacks of meeting someone for the first time can inflict more damage than good in the relationship. In some cases, women can lose their freedom to make their own decisions and men can take control over the course of their relationship. Furthermore, free choice marriage is another form of union between two individuals. In modern society, free choice marriage is the norm and can be observed in most situations. Hence, free choice marriage is built solely on love and compatibility. Some of its advantages are trust, love, gender equality, and freedom to choose your own partner. Trust is the key factor in building a relationship with someone. It is important to create trust between two individuals who chose to be together in the long run. Love is another aspect that makes the relationship special and long lasting. Additionally, the freedom to choose your own partner could contribute to the success of the relationship especially if someone’s committed to spend the rest of their life with that person. Also, gender equality comes to play when two separate identities merge and form a bond while setting aside their gender roles and assuming their responsibilities as a married couple. However, a free choice marriage is not all about rainbows and sunshine. Although, a huge part of it is love, most of the time when feelings run out it increases the likelihood of separation. It is important to realize that marriage isn’t all about love, it is also about partnership. The amount of satisfaction and fulfillment in a marriage should be a top priority. Free choice marriage between two individuals who have a different race, ethnic background, and culture might contribute to uncertainty and adjustment between each other. Basically, both types of marriages can work successfully if two individuals will have the right amount of understanding and nurturing that it needs.

Moreover, the different types of descent patterns can have a huge influence in the type of marriage an individual can have. In a free choice marriage, a child belongs to their parents and can result in a bilateral descent pattern. Most modern societies and Western societies who practices free choice marriage can have the advantage of their kin group to widen and not be limited in a certain lineage of their family. On the other hand, arranged marriage can be observed in societies who practices a patrilineal descent pattern. For instance, the traditions of a Middle eastern family can oblige them to marry someone from their own clan; mostly it can be their cousin or other extended family and can result in a unilateral descent pattern. (Bonvillain, 196)

Furthermore, gender equality has been a huge issue in a marriage. In the past, women are considered to be submissive, obedient, and a homemaker. While men are considered to be the head of the household, decision maker, and the one who controls the relationship. Although there’s still some patriarchal societies, there’s also a huge progress in the way people perceive marriage. Marriage is all about partnership between two people who have different roles and responsibilities but who divided it equally. The changes in the set-up of marriage in the present makes it possible for two individuals to set aside their gender roles. For instance, in a free choice marriage where compatibility is a huge factor. Both individuals know their partners personally and emotionally. In this case, both partners take the responsibility of rearing their child and are more present in their children’s lives. Another example is the household chores; women are the one responsible in keeping the house clean and washing the dishes however, more men are involved in the household chores and both partners are allocating which tasks are suitable for both. Furthermore, the set-up of an arranged marriage can be patrilineal or matrilineal, in this case the perceptions of each gender might be different compared to free choice marriage. One example is the patrilineal society practiced by rural North India. In their case, a patrilineal society is where children belong to their father’s kin. The female spouse might feel inferior to her husband and dominated by her mother-in-law because of the uncertain relationship of the married couple. 

In the present, marriage and dating has changed throughout time. The use of technology makes the courting process easier than it was before. The different dating sites and applications allows individuals to choose potential partners based on their profile or their physical appearance. The use of dating sites influenced the type of people we associate ourselves with. Our dating profile is all about the positive characteristic that we possess rather than our true self. Our choice of mates’ matter in the dating world. It’s like a game of trial and error, we date someone for a while and when they don’t fit in our standards, we find a new one. We find potential partners and test them to see if they exemplify our standards and if we find them suitable enough. Technology also increases our chance to explore other people’s personality and see if it will match ours. Basically, the courting process is much different and liberated in the present. Perhaps, dating sites are the modern-day “match makers” and a more strategic way in finding a suitable partner because it is accessible, flexible, and can potentially give us a variety of options. Although, it is not a bad thing to use dating sites it is important that are values remain intact while using those. Therefore, the use of these platforms can serve as match makers in the process of selecting someone we wish to settle down in the future.

Marriage, family, and the types of subsistence patterns are interconnected and demonstrate how all these aspects shapes the society we live in and how we perceive reality. The existence of marriage and family can create the different kinship groups in our society. Although, technology had changed some ideas of how marriage should be, the culture and traditions of one individual will always remain intact in terms of family rearing. Marriage is constantly adapting to the changes of its society, but one thing will remain the same, it is the bond between two people who merges to become one entity.

16 August 2021

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