Mate selection process
Mate selection in Pakistan largely depends on whether your family comes from a rural area, or an urban area (Malik, 2006). In rural and tribal areas, individuals who are not married are not allowed to meet and take up relations at free will (Malik, 2006). Also, any contact with the opposite sex is looked upon unfavorably in these areas of Pakistan (Malik, 2006). In small towns or villages, women or elder relatives look for partners for young people and the most important aspects that are sought after include prestige, ownership of assets and characteristics of the individual's family (Malik, 2006). Therefore, rural dating life is non-existent as families and neighbors monitor and control the arrangement of relations between young people. On the other hand, in urban towns, young people may meet each other at school, university or at weddings (Malik, 2006). Also, the internet and cell phones are popular methods of communicating privately with one another (Malik, 2006). Therefore, dating and meeting of opposite sexes is more accepted in urban cities, although family and friends contribute greatly in choosing a partner (Malik, 2006). Moreover, whether the setting takes place in rural areas or in an urban environment, several factors contribute to the mate selection process: family, class, religion and caste all determine whether a relationship can continue between the couple (Malik, 2006). The difference between rural and urban settings lies in the degree of influence that family and friends have in choosing a mate to be married (Malik, 2006). Social class endogamy
Social class is an important part of the process when selecting a mate in regards to Pakistani culture and customs (Malik, 2006). Lower, middle and upper class families choose mates of comparable social standing (Malik, 2006). Also, education and profession are of key concern when choosing a partner to marry and Pakistani's often marry someone from the same social class (Malik, 2006). Religious homogamy
Pakistani's are deeply religious and religion is important in all aspects of life (Malik, 2006). Pakistan has a population of 159 million, 140 million are Muslim, 6 million are Hindu and approximately 6 million are Christian (Malik, 2006). In regards to selecting a mate, religion plays a very important role because in Pakistan, marriage is a religious duty (Malik, 2006). It is so important, that even ethnicity (there are various ethnic groups throughout the country) is not as important as being of the same religion (Malik, 2006). Thus, family and friends will not consider a potential mate as a viable suitor if they are not of the same religion (Malik, 2006). Residential Propinquity
In Pakistan, once the couple is married the bride lives with her husband's family following a patrilocal system (Malik, 2006). An offer of accommodation of residency once the couple is married is the responsibility of the husband's family (Malik, 2006). Household division of labour
Pakistani's have continued to follow a traditional approach along patriarchal divisions of labour with men working and women taking care of household chores and raising children at home (Malik, 2006). Conjugal Power
Pakistan is a patriarchal society (Malik, 2006). A woman's life can be difficult in the early years of marriage because the bride usually has a small role to play in regards to power within the household (Malik, 2006). A wife is taught to listen to her husband and she is socialized to submit to requests from her mother in law (Malik, 2006). A wife can gain power when she produces male offspring because her sons will bring her wives to monitor and manage when they get married (Malik, 2006). Parenthood
In Pakistan, there is a preference for couples to produce male offspring, as males bring assets to the family and females are looked upon as a liability to be given away (Malik, 2006). Parents will take care of children until...
References: Farsoun, S. K. (2004). Culture and customs of the Palestinians. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
Malik, I. H. (2006). Culture and customs of Pakistan. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
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