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I.2.3 Definition of marriage

Malinowski and Radcliff-Brown

  •  “marriage is a union of a man and woman in which they are the jural
    father and mother of the children born to the woman”

Notes and Queries

  • “Marriage is a union between a man and a woman such that children born to the woman are the recognized legitimate offspring of both parents


  • Marriage is a ritually recognized union b/w a man and a woman, so that the spouses live together and that the couple have recognized mutual sexual rights
  • “Marriage is a relation of one or more men with one or more women which is recognized by customs or law and which involves certain rights and duties both in the case of the parties entering the union and in; the case of children born into it”.


  • Marriage is a universal institution that involves residential cohabitation, economic cooperation and result in the formation of nuclear families


  • Marriage is a union b/w a man and a woman such that the children born to the woman are recognized as legitimate offspring of both the parents

William Stephen

  • Marriage is a socially legitimate sexual union, began with public pronouncement, undertaken with a idea of permanence, assumed with more or less explicit marriage contract which spells out reciprocal economic obligations b/w the spouses and b/w the spouses and their future children

Kathaleen Gough’s

  • “Marriage is a relationship between a woman and one or more persons which provides that a child born to the woman under circumstances, not prohibited by the rules of the relationships, is accorded full birth status rights common to normal members of his society or social stratum”

Prince Peter 

  • “the socially recognized assumption by man and woman of the kinship status of
    husband and wife”.


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