Topics: Marriage, Wedding, Ritual Pages: 8 (2407 words) Published: May 9, 2013
Marriage Contrast between American and Arabic Culture

* Family is the basic building block of all societies
* Marriage is an ingredient to a family’s well being

Description of Marriage
* It is a legal contract or social union between two people * People marry foe legal, social, economic, libidinal, religious and spiritual reasons

Informal and Formal marriage rituals
* Proposal
* Betrothal
* Marriage
* Afterwards

Similarity between marriage in American and Arabic
* The tradition of keeping the bride away from the groom on the wedding until they are about to get married

* Proposal is formal in Arabic culture and informal in American culture * In Arabic culture, the families of the bride and groom are the major decision makers concerning marriage preparations while in American culture the coupled to wed are the final decision makers * Arabic culture views marriage as a formal union between man and woman while in American culture, this view does not hold

Hypotheses formulated
* Marriage is a ritual enables an individual to think in a new and complex ways * People who are in healthy and happy marriages have better emotional development compared to those in unhealthy marriages

The family has always been the basic building block of all societies. The one ingredient that appears to affect the family’s wellbeing significantly is marriage. While certain societies redefine marriage, the ritual still remains to be an institution that is shared by all cultures across the world. Different societies may have varying gender roles, marriage rituals, expectations and the role that marriage plays within the society. This essay will compare and contrast marriage between the American culture and the Arabic Middle Eastern culture.

Marriage can be defined as a legal contract or a social union between two individuals that lead to kinship formation. It is an institution that allows acknowledgement of interpersonal relationships that are usually sexual and intimate. The acknowledgement varies depending on the culture in which the institution of marriage is found. Some of the reasons why people marry include social reasons, legal reasons, spiritual, economic, emotional, libidinal and religious reasons. The proposal, betrothal, marriage, and afterwards, which manly entails the honeymoon period are the formal and informal rituals associated with marriage. Proposal entails the husband asking his intended bride her hand in marriage. Betrothal entails making preparations for the ceremony as well as other informal celebrations that may take place prior to the marriage. There is the marriage ceremony that may take place either in form of a formal or informal wedding ceremony. After marriage, some couples may decide to go for a honeymoon as a standard ritual. The Arabic and American cultures differ or share some similarities in the way they conduct the marriage rituals mentioned above (Monger, 2004).

In Arabic societies, the family has always been the center of life. In addition to providing economic refuge for youth and children, families are the main social security system for the sick, elderly, or disabled. Additionally, marriage is both a family and individual matter in the Arab culture. Marriage is a turning point that bestows recognition, prestige and societal approval on the couple, especially the bride. Marriage is an economic and social contract between two families. This means that it brings the resources of two families together. Finally, marriage in the Arabic culture is a rite of passage to a culturally, socially and legally acceptable sexual intimacy.

In the American culture, laws that govern marriage are established by the state. Some states such have legalized same-sex marriages. A typical American wedding involves two partners making a proclamation of their commitment to one another in the presence of...
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