Anthropology | The Politics of Marriage
E436 | 27065 | Friedman

Marriage is a topic familiar to us all.  It is something we associate
with adulthood and maturity, with love, and, in some cases, with
family.  Scholars have studied marriage as one of the major building
blocks of human society, intrigued by its variation in form and
content across cultures.  This course will examine marriage as a
political institution, one that facilitates alliances between groups,
produces systems of inequality between men and women and among
different classes of people, and creates exclusionary boundaries
through legal regulation.  The course will introduce students to
various feminist and anthropological theories of marriage and will
apply those theories to specific case studies from around the
world and across time periods.  We will discuss such topics as "mail
order" and arranged marriages, the racial politics of marriage,
marriage and welfare reform, global wedding industries, and current
legal struggles over same-sex marriage.