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Definition of Marriage

Why People Get Married, Rules And Regulations, Types Of Marriage, Conclusion

The institution of marriage is found in all societies. In the United States, marriage means stabilized patterns of norms and roles associated with the mutual relationship between husband and wife. It joins together a man (or men) and a woman (or women) in a special kind of social and legal arrangement that serves several purposes for a society. While this definition fits what is meant by marriage in the United States and other Western nations, it is not broad enough to encompass the essential features of marriage across all cultures. However, because marriage as an institution may differ in structure, function, dynamics, and meaning from one culture to another, no all-encompassing definition of marriage is possible (Kottak 1991). In almost all societies, it entails a legal contract (written or verbal), and this contract varies in the degree to which it can be broken.

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Marriage and Family EncyclopediaRelationships