Marriage and Symbolic Interactionism

1065 words 5 pages
Mid Term Research Paper

Marriage and Symbolic Interactionism

Marriage continues to be a popular institution in the United States. Although looking at the statistics in regard to marriage today you can see how commitment to marriage is faltering. Due to over half of all marriages ending in divorce, the institution of marriage and what it represents is continually coming into question. In researching different theories in Sociology, the central idea of symbolic interactionism, and how we attach meanings to symbols, is the key to understanding how we view the world and communicate with each other. This theory was researched by sociologist Herbert Blumer. In this theory human beings respond to things based on the meanings
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Obviously, not everyone is going to believe in all of these selected concepts. Multiple research projects and studies have been done to try and define what marriage means to people in our society today and how focusing on peoples marital expectations can demonstrate what the meaning of marriage has for people today. I think one of the differences of today’s society viewpoint of marriage and the one from a hundred years ago is the meaning of love. Today we are more focused on our wants and needs as emotional beings. We look to our partners to fulfill our intimacy needs. Once those feelings change we are given the option of leaving the marriage. The commitment factor has been altered by today’s standards.

The meaning that is associated with the symbols of marriage is also created by our experiences in our youth. Our families have taught us by expressing and exposing us to their own values about relationships and marriage. The norms that I have exposed to my own children about marriage are quite different than the norms I experienced as a child growing up in a broken home.

When you follow the logical progression of these research studies you can see the patterns immerge. 100 years ago people had different views about the institution of marriage. The commitment was entered into on a more moral religious base than it is today. Considering you can be married in Las Vegas in under 20 minutes, what does that say to our


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