Traditional and Contemporary Concepts of Marriages, Couples, and Families

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TRADITIONAL AND CONTEMPORARY CONCEPTS OF MARRIAGES, COUPLES, AND FAMILIES

VALERIE V. CUFFEE

Introduction to Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling COUN - 6201F - 2

JUNE, 11, 2012

Over the last decades the concept of marriage, couples and family has undergone great change. What is been known as “traditional marriage” is being redefined. The vestiges of the traditional marriage are largely based on religious foundations. Secular thoughts and laws regarding non-traditional marriage are making the definition of marriage broader. “Traditional marriage was a deeply hierarchical institution, in which wives were legally and socially subordinated to their husbands. Despite the trend toward legal equality of husbands and wives, marital roles continue to be gendered in ways that leave many women dependent and vulnerable”. Scott, E. S. (2007).

Traditional marriage is encouraged and established on the religious and cultural world, to protect children, and widows when their husbands died before women gained equal status. Trost, J. reasons the decline of traditional marriage this way:

“In many countries there are also some legal differences between marriage and cohabitation. Traditionally, married couples have been protected by law in economic meaning. If a marriage is dissolved through divorce there are rules for division of property and sometimes also rules for one of the ex-spouses to support the other spouse. In case of death there have been rules for division of property. For non-marital cohabiting couples no rules existed 40 years ago”. Trost, J. (2010).

Since, the definition of marriage has been updated, and then it stands the reason that the family has been redefined. The “family” is composed of a father, mother and children. Termed the “nuclear family”; anything that did not look like, or fit into this...
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