Carine Garcon ANT 3212 Wayne A. Abrahamson Spring 2013 The Socio-Cultural Impact on Love, Marriage, and Kinship One’s perspective of the world is consistently altered by our surroundings and influenced by the events that take place. In the past approximately 50 years divorce rates have risen a significant incredibly high. Many researchers have associated this phenomena the contemporary society marriage symbolizes and values. This idea and representation of love have conversely affected and impacted relationships. Thus, the topic that will be investigated is how society and cultural has affected our notion of love, marriage, and kinship.
One of the ways society has impacted the notion of marriage is that fact that the government attempts to regulate marriages. “A few states realize the importance of marriage, and they have taken action to try to change our notion on marriage. Louisiana, Arizona, and Arkansas they believed in covenant marriages. According to the journal covenant marriage required the following… This movement set out to promote and strengthen marriages, reduce divorce rates, lessen the number of children born out of wedlock, discourages cohabitation, and frame marriage as an honorable and desirable institution. ” (Hawkins et al. 002:166) Because of the fact that the contemporary culture has lost sight of the significance of marriage, the government attempted to regulate the marriages within certain states. Furthermore, the state of Florida has made it harder for couples to get married and also get a divorce. The state has now implemented a 3- day waiting period for marriage licenses if couples do not seek premarital education, hoping to reduce impulsive, ill-advised unions. (Hawkins et al. 2002:166) It is clear why the government has attempted to regulate and restrict the amount of marriages that potentially can happen.
Years ago marriage was considered to be a divine, sacred union shared between two people before God. This union was intended to be a union that lasted a lifetime and previously the option to dissipate the marriage did not exist. In the current state of marriage, people get married they do not see it as something that is supposed to be forever, but instead as something temporarily. Divorce has become too easy and feasible for people to obtain. I personally believe this current generation people confuse lust for love. Most people would tell someone that they love them, but instead it is really lust.
It seems that no one really knows the differences between lust and love, so the two words are commonly mistaken and used in the wrong way. Even in movies and mass entertainment, love and relationships are portrayed negatively with glamour. The typical story begins with a man who convinces a girl with the idea and possibility of love. Once she is vulnerable the couple would most likely indulge in sexual intercourse. When this happens the man then leaves, the woman regrets the decision. These things are glamourized and popularized by the mass media and a result, the youth is then influenced to mimic the same.
The psychological effects of the mass media are subtle, but long-term. (Galician 2004) As a child coming from a Christian background I read the bible very often. The bible is a great source to view and analyze the changes that have happened throughout the last 5 decades, because much of the ideals were based upon its contents. In the book of Matthew chapter 22:36-44 it states, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? ” Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with your mind.
This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second command is similar stating, “Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. ” (Matthew 22:36-44) Out of all the Ten Commandments these two were considered to be the most coveted and highly regarded. This emphasis on the idea that love should be a highly heralded and powerful word in is uses and approach. The order in which these commandments are given, also place emphasis and attention towards how one who is reading the text should perceive it.
In the journal, On A Paradox Of Christian Love Liu exclaimed that these two commandments direct ones love to distinct objects. (Liu 2007:681) The commandments were placed in a certain order as “first” and “second” to illustrate importance and respect. By putting these commandments in an order it is assumed that the one must achieve a spiritual love with everything in your body and mind, and only after can you love can love someone else (neighbor). The bible has influenced a large amount of the Western society and culture. From a biblical stand point you cannot love anyone else unless your love is rooted with a divine spirit.
I believe that if it has to do with our culture then inversely it pertains to love, thus as a society we are blinded by what we want to see. It is critical that one see’s the need to learn to take time and careful thought into deciding whether or not we’re in love. Love is patient, so it’s okay to take your time to fall for someone because if it is true love than it will reveal itself in its own right. Also, the stress placed upon by people on love results in the spending of time and hours wondering if there is true love in their relationship.
The impact that culture has had on the social relations of love have led to the belief that love is based off of what one can do for the other, while in its essence and purity love isn’t based on that logic and reasoning but emotion and feeling. In the textbook it explains how a man spent most of his time away from his home, so the child grew up under the influence of their mothers and matrilineal relatives. If praise or shame failed to control the behavior of children, the withdrawal of maternal affection had a powerful effect. King 2003) In today’s culture and society the result adverse conditions and occurrences are happening. By contemporary society, men are supposed to be considered as the primary provider for their families. Women are widely considered to be the ones that bear the responsibility of child bearing and maintaining the stability and homeostasis of the home. Though the effect is not the extent and extreme of a mother taking away her affection from a child, but the equivalent in terms of linearity would be a mother in this day and age placing the child in time out as a form of punishment.
This idea also delves a deeper in the explanation of adolescent girls who become “quickly incorporated into the highly organized female kinship group, and boys [who] sought out special friendships with each other to provide mutual support in adulthood. ” (King 2003) In analyzation how love is specially affected by the socio-cultural factors of today, the analysis of the term ‘kinship’ can be addressed to further the discussion. Kinship isn’t just considered to be relationship through blood, but it also means relation by marriage, or adoption.
Again television and mass has led us to believe that most families are generally tight knit and very close, but in reality most families are seriously dysfunctional. (Galician 2004) Throughout all of this dysfunction, families still manage to find some form of stability amongst them. Overall kin generally stick together, and maintain a decent relationship with each other. In the textbook King explains how marriages takes place in the Ancient areas towards the east (Massachusett, Iroquois, Cherokee). He explained that if a man had a bride in mind he would have two options.
Ask a family to propose a match to the other family, or to attract the girl himself. If the guy proved himself to be worthy the family would accept the couples sexual relationship, and if it eventually at the end of the process a wedding would take place. (King 2003) The family tests the couple’s relationship based upon the sex and essentially, if the sex was proven adequate, then the couple would then get married. King further explained that an ordinary man would take extra wives to help around with their community duties or ambitions.
Furthermore, in this time period bride service was very common. A new husband would go live with his in-laws to perform these duties. (King 2003) These days, a new husband would not go live with his in- laws and he most certainly wouldn’t be performing bride services. This is one example of the extreme changes that have occurred socially and culturally in regards to marriage. Conclusively, culture and media has had an impact on how we view marriage, love, and kinship. Most people no longer view marriage as being permanent, but instead as being temporary.
They no longer believe in fighting to make their relationship work, they’d much rather divorce or separate and prevent and reconciliation in their differences. It is worldwide postulation that love is difficult, but our culture has misled us to believe that love is effortlessly attainable. Even in regards to kinship, part of love and relationships with anyone is to maintain ties with your family. Overall, because of the socio-cultural conditions the ideas of relationships are ever changing and thus complex in its nature.
References Cited Galician, M. (2004). Sex, love & romance in the mass media analysis & criticism of unrealistic portrayals & their influence. Mahwah, N. J. : Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. King, Glenn. Traditional Cultures: A Survey of Nonwestern Experience and Achievement. (2003). Waveland Press, Long Grove, IL. Hawkins, Alan J. , Steven L. Nock, Julia C. Wilson, Laura Sanchez, and James D. Wright. “Attitudes About Covenant Marriage and Divorce: Policy Implications From a Three-State Comparison*. ” Family Relations 51. (2002): 166-175. Web. Huston, Ted L. “The Social Ecology of Marriage and Other Intimate Unions. ” Journal of Marriage and Family 62. 2 (2000): 298-320. Web. 05 Feb. 2013. Liu, Qingping. “On A Paradox Of Christian Love. ” Journal of Religious Ethics 35. 4 (2007): 681-94. Print. “Matthew 22:36-44. ” The Holy Bible: Containing the Old and New Testaments Translated out of the Original Tongues and with the Former Translations Diligently Compared and Revised by His Majesty’s Special Command. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1979. N. Print.
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