The institution of marriage is the process of negotiating a legal and social contract between two people. Everybody is expected to get married in their life as early as possible to signify the legitimate transition into adulthood. At times, some people do not even know why they want marriage other than the fact that it is what we are supposed to do when we get older: get married, get a job, have sex, and make a family. This helps men and women maintain high social statuses by combining family wealth, production, and relationships. That is why two people who are not the same race or social class are always looked down upon for wanting marriage. Not only does the institution of marriage come with independency and approval from family and friends, but it also comes with benefits from the government such as legal protections and immigration rights.
Although marriage is a social institution, it is not a stable one. Marriage and the reasons for marriage are constantly changing. Currently, marriage is not the only representation of adulthood, and people are becoming more independent. Even though marriage should be based on the instances of unconditional love, the reasons for marriage extend beyond that to the point that love could have nothing to do with it. Referring back to the benefits people can receive from marriage, immigrants often use marriage as a visa to live in the United States. This is one of the safest ways for immigrants to become a part of the United States without becoming a citizen, while also being able to function to get a job and live healthily in contrast to the video we watched “Out in the Fields”. In that video, women had a hard time emigrating from their countries to a safe environment because the situations they came into marked them as illegal, which made them unable to get a job or anything to help themselves. When they were put in that position, it forced them to either get involved in the sex trade, or, like the video, work into the fields where they were prone to sexual assault.
For example, in the television series Prison Break, the main character decides to break his brother out of jail, but he does so with the help of his immigrant wife. He made a deal with her that he would marry her in order to help her start her life in the United States as long as she did simple tasks in order to help him break his brother out of prison. With this, she was able to live her own life outside of the deal she made.
How do you think the institution of marriage is perceived by the majority of the United States? Do you think it is less important now then it was in the past? Do you think marriage in the terms of helping someone emigrate is legitimate or should it only be for love purposes?