Concepts of Marriage: Reflective Essay

1282 words (5 pages) Essay in Sociology

08/09/17 Sociology Reference this

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What is marriage? To many marriage is a milestone accomplished over the course of their life, and once achieved, giving them the feeling of being “complete”. To others, marriage is what makes their relationship “official” in a way and is what keeps them monogamous to one another. Where a big party, wedding cake, and wedding bands are what make a couple no longer available to anyone else but their spouse. In better terms, the definition of marriage is a “legal” or “formal” recognized union of a man and a women or even same sex- as partners in a solid relationship. It seems that the entire concept of marriage has always been here, there, and everywhere.

After reviewing videos and material written about marriage, it is clear to see that there are many stand points on the topic. Though many people advocate marriage and preach all that it stands for. Others on the other hand are fighting and argue to get rid of marriage altogether. On one of the videos that was shared in class called, “Cancel Marriage” consisted of a lengthy video where Merav Michaeli went deep into defining marriage and the true meaning behind “husband” and “wife”. Husband ultimately turned out to origin from the word “householder” or “owner”, while “wife” is derived from the terms “shame” and “vulva”. It makes you question why from the beginning of marriage, a married couple who have children were only able to carry the fathers name.

To go further in to detail and really have a better understanding behind marriage in todays’ society, as a class we were all to collaborate amongst ourselves to put together a survey in which we could use as an instrument to interview five couples- ten individuals. The task was limited and the questionnaire added up to twenty-four unique and bold questions that the individuals asked could either answer or refuse to answer. Each question consisted of either short answer responses and even long ones. We were instructed not to write any names down and keep all answers given to us confidential and anonymous. Once each of us had the opportunity to put our final survey questionnaire to use, we counted the answers to each question and brought the total to class. Some of the questions involved in the questionnaire where, “Do you respect your spouse?”, “Do you ever think about divorce?”, and “What is your secret for sustaining your marriage? Explain.”

No doubt that the result received from the final survey questionnaire were intriguing but the lessons learned from the responses and the event altogether was what we all walked away with. Some lessons about the survey method that even though we all had our own questions in mind to contribute, it took a while for the survey to be put together and finalized. The lesson behind this struggle taught us to think outside the box and be open to other peoples’ viewpoints. The lesson learned the topic stood out to us because marriage is something that has crossed our minds at least once before and we learned that even though you may not relate to a topic because you are not married, does not mean you can’t connect to the topic and work together to find answers.

Of course, many of us were able to take away important factors that contribute to a strong research process. If asked what lesson I learned from the research part of this assignment, was simply the interviewing part to it. I was incredulous on how to go about approaching ten individuals and ask about their married life. Though in class we were instructed to approach everyone and introduce ourselves as students and ask the subject to help with our assignment. This seemed harder said than done. Lesson learned here was that even though you may have done excellent and extensive research on the topic sometime the actual act of getting answers may be hardest part.

With all this said, a lesson that I learned about myself are a couple. Firstly, I learned that it is fine to not always know how to approach a hard topic that you can’t relate with because it doesn’t pertain to you, but this could be turned into an even better reason to tackle it on anyway just to be more self-aware on the matter. Another lesson I learned about myself came from the subjects that I interacted with and how everyone you encounter knows something that you do not know. At the end of each questionnaire I was able to have a fulfilling sense of accomplishment because I was holding information about people who I either knew or didn’t know, and with this task done I was able to have a different perspective on the topic of marriage and people.  I learned that I have a way with speaking to people and despite being convinced that approaching others is not my strong suit, I did very well for my first time. The lesson I took away about myself was to give myself more credit when faced in these situations and never stop searching for answers no matter what my inner voice may negatively say to myself.

All things considered, the total of answers put together as a class was not at all to shocking. Marriage seemed to be divided into an act that genuinely rooted from love and the other half seemed to have happened in order to benefit from what we know as “The Marriage Premium” which included happiness, health, and economic security. Though overall, there was much satisfaction from the marriages we surveyed, I still stand with my personal views on the matter. Marriage was an institution made up in a time where women had absolutely no status before the law and were merrily “property”. Why is that today in 2016, where we live in a modernized world with modern women and men, that we still have such an institution as this that still exists. When this institution was created, its sole purpose was for a woman to make a living and be able to stand up on her own, therefore, a woman could not afford not to get married.

After all, marriage to me is an understanding that in order to move up in life I must become a wife and be wed to a man. I don’t buy into this whatsoever when we live in a world where women are continuing to fight for equal pay and rights. This to me is proof that marriage is a myth in order to keep women from rising to power and ultimately their true potential. Marriage to me equals control, and if I’ve learned anything about the government system in the U.S; it is that control means a lot to those who obtain it and that is why the government practically pushes the population to marry in order to keep the control. This can easily be proved by the fact that governments give money and visas based on marriage. Marriage is a default option that must be taken down. To sum up, marriage is one of the many institutions pushed among us that must be teared down in order to build something new. If times are changing so must our ideas and the ways we approach things that will benefit everyone not just certain individuals who agree to take part of an institution that does not cover everyone.


Seccombe, Karen. Exploring marriages and families. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon, 2012. Print.

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