Marriage as an institution and related rituals
Marriage is a legally and socially sanctioned union usually between a man and a woman. Regulated by laws, rules, customs, beliefs, and attitudes that proscribe the rights and duties of the partners and accord status to offspring. In different cultures, marriage is attributed to various social and personal functions for which provide structures and division of labour.
By 21st century, the nature of marriage in western countries particularly with regard to the significance of procreation and the ease of divorce had begun to change. In 2000 the Netherlands became the first country to legalize same sex marriages, the law went into force on April 1, 2001.
Some form of marriage has been found to exist in all human societies, past and present. It’s important to elaborate complex laws and rituals surrounding it. Although these laws and rituals vary according to communities, some universals do apply.
The main legal function of marriage is to ensure the rights of the partners with respect to each other and to the rights and define the relationships of the children within a community. In most societies, marriage also established the permissible social relations allowed to the offspring including the right of inheritance.
Until the late 20th century, marriage was rarely a matter of the choice. Love in western culture came to be associated with marriage. This applies to the African countries now where family remains the basic unit. Marriages are usually arranged by the family.
A naming ceremony is an event at which a person is officially assigned a name. This happens immediately after birth. Various communities participate in this practice, with methods differing over cultures and religions. The timing at which a name is assigned can vary from some days after birth to several months.
Naming a child is usually done through a baptism ceremony among the Christians. In eatern orthodoxy, infants are traditionally named on the 8th day of their life in a special service conducted either at home or in church.
During birth, every culture has practiced different birth traditions and customs. A new baby universally brings joy and immense pleasure to families welcoming a child into the world. Different cultures celebrate birth as a way of bringing good luck to the child. Most cultures today still have special ceremonies to welcome newborns.
Rituals are an inherent part of our human make-up. They bind us to our community and reinforce a sense of belonging. By practicing birth traditions, the parents are not only celebrating the baby’s life but welcoming the baby into the community group.
In Kalenjin when a child is born, a naming ceremony was conducted. When a child was born at a certain place, then he/ she is named after that particular place, e.g. Kipsang which means born outside.
Therefore, birth and naming rituals differ from community to community.
Sexuality refers to people’s sexual interest in and attraction to others. It is the ability to have erotic or sexual feelings and experiences. It is part of the social life of humans, governed by social norms and the status quo. Society’s view on sexuality has changed throughout history.
Each society has different norms about premarital sex, the age of sexual consent, incest, homosexuality and other sexual behavious. With advent of patriarchal societies, gender roles around sexuality become more stringent and sexual norms began focusing on sexual possessiveness and the control of female sexuality.
The messages that children are taught about sex play an important role in how they will grow in their sexual selves and express or not express their sexual motivations. How, what, when and by whom children should be taught about sex is a matter of great debate in sex education.
Human sexuality refers to people’s sexual interest. It differs from biological sex which refers to one’s anatomy, hormones and genetics. Sexuality is also different from gender identity which is a person’s sense of their own gender.
Incest is sexual activity between family members or close relatives. The incest taboo is one of the most widespread of all cultural taboos.
A common justification for prohibiting incest is avoiding inbreeding , though I want to believe sexual education would be of great help too.
Social organization is a pattern of relationship between and among individuals in social groups. Characteristics of social organization include sexual composition, leadership structure, division of labour, communication system and so on.
These characteristics enable people to monitor their everyday way and involvement in other activities that are controlled forms of human interaction. The organization relies on horizontal social structure, stressing relationships within communities rather than a hierarchy between them.
The notion of culture is everywhere invoked and virtually nowhere explained. Culture can mean so many things, collective identity, arts, letters, lifestyle and corporate policy. Different communities have their own laws, roles and relations.
Community roles are a set of connected behaviors, rights, obligations and norms. It is an expected or free changing behavior and may have given an individual status or social position.
The three are a crucial mechanism for smooth flow of things in a community.