Discussion 2: Why Study the History of Marriage
Please sit in the following groups:
- What kind of books are these? Are they primary or secondary sources? Who is the intended audience for each?
- What is the "thesis statement" for the book?
- What are some of the questions the historian is trying to answer?
Your Questions (How might you answer these historically? / What do the texts say?):
- My question is why has every generation believed that their institution of marriage is inferior to that of previous generations?
- Have regions faced the same "crisis" in different time periods? Could they look at how the other regions handled these situations to see if it was really a "crisis" at all, or just an issue of perception?
- Why do individuals still allow marriage to define themselves and their roles in society?
- Why are we constantly looking into the past to help us figure out our future when it comes to marriage? Since values and ideals are constantly changing should people really be looking into the past to obtain information about marriage?
- Can love-based marriages really last?
- So what is it exactly that constitutes a healthy and beneficial reason to get married?
- I’m curious to find if there is historical record of how, if any, changes have occurred in what are the expected gender roles.
- Do women lose a part of their presence when they become a wife?
- "Because the United States established no national church, but said it would separate church and state and observe religious tolerance, state control flourished." Is it okay to allow the state to have this much control over marriage, especially with it varying from state to state? Does religion really have an influence at all?
- What do demographic patterns and laws tell us about marriage? What do you make of Shammas' arguments re:
- inheritance patterns
- birth rate, birth order
- Law: Parental consent