Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Cheveyo, Mar 8, 2005.
Aw, shucks .
I sit corrected .
in another thread, _Darth_Brooks_ wrote:
Anyway, it's time to let this go.
I'm sorry to hear you say that. Never fear, though, My old SOC prof friend has turned me onto a few other books, one of which I'm in the process of obtaining (it costs a fortune and is not available at my local library, so I'm waiting on his own copy). These books are very specific in how marriage came about.
I realize now that there is no way to persuade you to read for yourself those books I referenced earlier, which--as I noted--due lay down the history and origin of marriage throughout humanity. I would be even more naÃ¯ve to think for an instant then that you would consider reading even more books on the subject. Nevertheless?
The book I'm waiting on at the moment--says my friend--is a definitive resource for how the ritual of marriage came about. You can look into it, too, if you wish. I will try to quote it to you when I get ahold of it, but keep in mind that it is 400+ pages, all of which pertain to the history of marriage, so unless you read it yourself you'll likely find arguments with any quote I provide which would already be covered and explained in the book. In case you're interested, the book is called A History of Marriage Systems (Contributions in Family Studies, Vol 13), by G. Robina Quale. I highly recommend you see if your local library carries it, though, because it is otherwise a very costly book ($115.00 at my local Borders).
He also recommended another book (which is only $15 at the store... although I have a hold on the next available copy at the library) called Marriage, a History: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love Conquered Marriage, by Stephanie Coontz. I will read that and provide the quotes for you when I have it, but in the meantime, here is a quick acknowledgement about how marriage did not begin as a religious institution, but rather?as I stated originally?has a more capitalistic origin. From the Introduction, provided by Amazon.com: [blockquote]?ome things that people think are traditional were actually relatively recent innovations. That is the case for the "tradition" that marriage has to be licensed by the state or sanctified by the church. In ancient Rome the difference between cohabitation and legal marriage depended solely on the partners' intent. Even the Catholic Church (later, after the Roman Empire) long held that if a man and woman said they had privately agreed to marry, whether they said those words in the kitchen or out by the haystack, they were in fact married. (That's a far cry from today's Catholic church.)[/blockquote] And also this? [blockquote]The Real Traditional Marriage
To understand why the love-based marriage system was so unstable and how we ended up where we are today, we have to recognize that for most of history, marriage was not primarily about the individual needs and desires of a man and woman and the children they produced. Marriage had as much to do with getting good in-laws and increasing one's family labor force as it did with finding a lifetime companion and raising a beloved child.
Reviewing the role of marriage in different societies in the past and the theories of anthropologists and archaeologists, I came to reject two widespread, though diametrically opposed, theories about how marriage came into existence among our Stone Age ancestors: the idea that marriage was invented so men would protect women and the opposing idea that it was invented so men could exploit women. Instead, marriage spoke to the needs of the larger group. It converted strangers into relatives and extended cooperatives relations beyond the immediate family or small band by creating far-flung networks of in-laws.
As civilizations got more complex and stratified, the role of marriage in acquiring in-laws changed. Marriage became a way in which elites could hoard or accumulate resources, shutting out unrelated individuals or even "illegitimate" family members.