Institution of Marriage
























  1. Introduction
  2. Marriage and Family
  • Conclusion
  1. References






Institution of Marriage


            There have been many views put across trying to define which the ideal family unit was. For ages man has lived in a two parent family comprised of the biological father and mother. Many scholars have argued that this has been past by events but I would beg to differ from this thought. Since the ancient days and days of our fore fathers, the only marriage arrangement that has been successful in promoting the social, emotion and psychological well being of children in a family is the nuclear family. The nuclear family is formed of the mother, father and children. Anything that threatens the existence of the nuclear family threatens the very core of society. The socialization of an individual begins at the nuclear family, it then proceeds to the extended family and finally to the community. The nuclear family is the foundation that holds society together.

Marriage and Family

Marriage as an institution was created by God according to religious clergy. Man and woman were to bring up their children with the love, care and protection of both biological parents. It has been argued that the continued state of decline in social morals and lawlessness is a direct result of single parent families. Children from this kind of families are said to lack good moral up bringing. Single parent families have been associated with drug abuse, crime and high divorce rate if they happen to get married in future (Skolnick, 2006, KSS, pp. 518-521).

Many politicians argue that children and the youth are the leaders of tomorrow or as some say they are the future of America, but when it comes to collective responsibility their contribution leaves little to be desired. Children are best cared for within the institution of marriage and family. Although the public or society helps in the nurturing of young children to adults, the greatest part of socialization takes place within the family home. We learn to socialize with our family members before engaging with the external world. Parents tied up in economic activities to support their children are viewed as neglecting their children. This is not true; we should appreciate the effort they make to provide for their children (Strober, 2004 KSS, p.524).

Poverty has been greatly linked to family and marriage. It has been observed that in situations where the family set up broke down, such families languished in poverty among the black community in America. This was as a result of discrimination, lack of education, high crime rate and victimization leading to breakdown of family structures. A negative tax was introduced to tackle the problem but failed. Without strengthening of family institutions this problem will persist for years to come (Marshall, Lerman, Whitehead, Horn, and Rector, 2006, KSS, pp529- 532).

The traditional setting of the family has change from the husband being the breadwinners and wives being the homemakers. As more women join the work force it has lead to conflict. Through affirmative action men have been victimized and segregated upon their function s as heads of the family. Feminist argue that after giving birth care of the children can be left to employees and institutions. But this denies women the joy and happiness they would get from raising their own children. Feminist champion for independence while at the same time rely on traditional value of the family tom get preferential treatment (Graglia, 1998, KSS, pp.540-542).

Generally the American society sees marriage as basically a relationship between two adults, but the cases of divorce and breakdown of marriage and the effect it had on children and society at large suggests that this may not be true. Marriage and family is the script of life in society that every individual has to follow. Any attempt to severe marriage, family ties and childrearing is detrimental to the American society as it leads to social, economic and political inequalities (Hymowitz, 2006, KSS, pp.559-561).

There is no other person who knows what a child needs or wants better than the mother. After childbirth a woman never stops thinking about her child. Proponents of the feminist view promised happiness and fulfillment from joining the workforce but this has proved not to be true. What could be more important providing for your child’s needs or being there for them is a question that most professional women are faced with every time they leave their houses in the morning. The love and care of a mother can not be substituted (Crittenden, 1996, KSS, pp.563-565).

Marriage and family is probably one of the most fundamental pillars that ensure the society remains healthy and stable. In marriage spouse give themselves to each other and become one. This has been greatly challenged by the modern egocentric culture which emphasizes on self satisfaction. Marriage affirms the thoughts of our founding fathers that we should use our freedom to promote the general common good. Common good can not only be promoted by the state but in conjunction with all citizens. This starts at the family level (Santorum, 2006, KSS, pp.570-572).

In studies carried out evidence shows that married women who work and engage in other activities were generally healthier and happy with their lives, compared to married women who stayed at home, single working mothers and single women who stayed at home. In contrast men were observed to be unsatisfied with their lives. They wished they could have more time and involvement with their families to fulfill their potential (Parker, 1990, KSS, pp.573-574).

The role of the father in the family has been taken over by the state through provision of welfare checks and child-care facilities. But research has shown that the father’s role can not be substituted by state. Children in fatherless homes are predisposed to drop out of school, be ill mannered, face child abuse and neglect. The role of the father and the traditional family in socialization of children is paramount and can not be negated by anything. In every society, socialization of individuals begins at the family level (Horn, 1997, KSS, pp.580-581).

As much the marriage and family are charged with the moral up bringing of children, the community, state and society also have a big role to play. Children are being influenced by the internet, cable television, video games, billboards and posters, books and music. Most of the content is immoral and should not be viewed by teenagers. The only ways to combat immorality is by parents starting close supervision right from the family level and project this towards the community and society as a whole (Hagelin, 2006,KSS, pp.576-577).

The American family is no longer a close-knit affair as defined by the Roman aristocratic views. Children are accepted in to the society through the father while the father is governed by the society. With the advent of democracy this strong social ties of the family have been eroded. Democracy should be used in family as a bonding tool between family members and not for revolt (Tocqueville, 1835, KSS, p.516).

It has been observed that children who have lacked motherly love during their youth grow up with a lot of behavioral problems. Many of the teenage killers arrested were found to have raised themselves. The feminist ideology that women should leave their houses for the work place needs to be reviewed because it has a negative effect on the upbringing of children (Eberstadt, 2001 KSS, pp.549-551).


            The family as an institution which arises out of marriage is the foundation upon which the society is built. All individuals are socialized in the family set up before they interact with the society. The marriage institution needs to be strengthened in order to promote welfare and common good for all.


Crittenden, D.,(1996)THE MOTHER OF ALL PROBLEMS.In E. Rauchut & K. Mason (Eds.), Kirkpatrick signature series reader (pp. 563-569). Bellevue, NE: Bellevue University Press.

Eberstadt, M.,(2001).HOME-ALONE AMERICA: THE SOCIAL CONSEQUENCES OF CHILDREN RAISING THEMSELVES. In E. Rauchut & K. Mason (Eds.), Kirkpatrick signature series reader (pp. 549-558). Bellevue, NE: Bellevue University Press.

Graglia, C.,(1998)FROM DOMESTIC TRANQUILITY. In E. Rauchut & K. Mason (Eds.), Kirkpatrick signature series reader (pp. 540-548). Bellevue, NE: Bellevue University Press.

Hagelin, R.,(2006).TAKING BACK OUR HOMES. In E. Rauchut & K. Mason (Eds.), Kirkpatrick signature series reader (pp. 576-579). Bellevue, NE: Bellevue University Press.

Hymowitz,K. S.,(2006). MARRIAGE AND CASTE IN AMERICA: SEPARATE & UNEQUAL FAMILIES IN A POST-MARITAL AGE.In E. Rauchut & K. Mason (Eds.), Kirkpatrick signature series reader (pp. 559-562). Bellevue, NE: Bellevue University Press.

Horn, W. F.,(1997).”WHY THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR PARENTS”.In E. Rauchut & K. Mason (Eds.), Kirkpatrick signature series reader (pp. 580-582). Bellevue, NE: Bellevue University Press.

Marshall, J.A.,Lerman,R.,Whitehead,D.B.,Horn, w.,Rector,R.,(2006).THE COLLAPSE OF MARRIAGE AND THE RISE OF WELFARE DEPENDENCE.In E. Rauchut & K. Mason (Eds.), Kirkpatrick signature series reader (pp. 529-539). Bellevue, NE: Bellevue University Press.

Parker, R.,(1990).SUPERWOMAN: MYTH, REALITY OR WHAT?.In E. Rauchut & K. Mason (Eds.), Kirkpatrick signature series reader (pp. 573-575). Bellevue, NE: Bellevue University Press.

Santorum, R.,(2006). THE NECESSITY OF MARRIAGE. In E. Rauchut & K. Mason (Eds.), Kirkpatrick signature series reader (pp. 570-572). Bellevue, NE: Bellevue University Press.

Skolnick, A. (2006). BEYOND THE “M” WORD: THE TANGLED WEB OF POLITICS AND MARRIAGE. In E. Rauchut & K. Mason (Eds.), Kirkpatrick signature series reader (pp.518-523). Bellevue, NE: Bellevue University Press.

Strober, M. H.,(2004).CHILDREN AS A PUBLIC GOOD.In E. Rauchut & K. Mason (Eds.), Kirkpatrick signature series reader (pp. 580-582). Bellevue, NE: Bellevue University Press.

Tocqueville, A. (1835). from DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA. In E. Rauchut & K. Mason (Eds.), Kirkpatrick signature series reader (pp. 515-517). Bellevue, NE: Bellevue University Press.

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