Thursday, November 5, 2009

Week 10

Arranged marriages are customs that you don't see often in Western ideals. Arranged marriages are still very prevalent in many parts of South Asia. While, it is the norm for a couple to meet, get to know each other, fall in love and make the choice to be married to each in the United States, that is seen as somewhat deviant in today's culture in places such as India. Because of the popular culture that many of the West has grown up on, we see that marriage is sacred and that the only way to truly find your "one true love" is by your own processes and decisions. However, in India marriage is seen just as sacred, therefore the parents plan extensively to ensure that the marriages that are arranged are going to last forever (seeing as how divorce is very uncommon and looked down upon).
My one friend is Muslim and her family lives in the United States, but originally lived in Jordan. While, her family does not partake in many Muslim customs, they do not agree with her dating. They believe that the act of dating is useless, and while they have no set up an arranged marriage, I believe that they have Muslim boys in mind that they would like for her to marry. It's crazy to think how different certain ideals are all across the globe and how one thing that may seem perfectly normal to us is completely deviant to another culture.


  1. I like your post, and I think that it is quite surprising to learn of different customs in comparison with our own. It is crucial however not to place the social values of one's society when studying another society. It is important to use the context and values of that society instead of your own. Its very difficult to detatch yourself from social and moral values especially if another conflicts with those values. In another class, the professor emphasized this by telling us about how a tribe in Africa was so engaged in warfare that they killed all the female newborns because they only could raise the males as more warriors for battle. The reason why they were constantly fighting was that they had to steal women from other tribes in order to continue the existence of the tribe. The professor stated that this system was neither good nor bad in that that is simply what they did and we couldn't judge this society by our values.

  2. I agree with the above comment. I think it is terribly easy to look at other societies with a critical eye. In my relativism class last year, there were even some theorists who believed that there was no way to fully escape the mind set of your society (because it is so entrenched from the moment we are born), and thus we are always going to look at another society with some kind of judgment, no matter how hard we try not to.
    I find this topic fascinating!
    --Arielle Parris-Hoshour

  3. Valid points, but please expand on them - this blog post is rather short (remember - you should be writing a page long commentaries).