Compare the concept of marriage in the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa. What are the implications of both family and marriage for the development of Sub-Saharan Africa?

Assignment Question

Compare the concept of marriage in the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa. What are the implications of both family and marriage for the development of Sub-Saharan Africa? – This essay is ONLY 5 paragraphs, 1-3-1 essay – ONLY use reading attached, NO outside sources please – Do not direct quotes

[order_button_a]

Answer

Introduction

Marriage, a fundamental societal institution, takes on diverse forms and meanings across cultures. This essay delves into a comparative analysis of the concept of marriage in the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa, shedding light on the unique cultural, social, and economic factors that shape these differing perspectives. Understanding the intricacies of how marriage is perceived in these regions is paramount for grasping the implications it holds for societal development. While the United States often emphasizes individual choice and personal fulfillment in marriage, Sub-Saharan Africa places a strong emphasis on communal values and traditional practices. As we explore these variations, it becomes evident that the cultural lenses through which marriage is viewed significantly impact broader social structures and contribute to the complexities of societal development.

Marriage Concepts in the United States and  Sub-Saharan Africa

In the United States, marriage is often seen as a personal choice grounded in the principles of love and companionship. The cultural narrative emphasizes individual autonomy and the pursuit of happiness in marital relationships (Cherlin, 2018). Marriage is considered a voluntary union between two consenting adults, and the legal framework surrounding it reflects a commitment to individual rights and freedoms. However, recent trends indicate a decline in the overall marriage rate, with more individuals opting for cohabitation or delayed marriage (Lamidi, Manning, & Brown, 2020). This shift may be attributed to changing social norms, economic factors, and a reevaluation of the traditional institution of marriage.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, the concept of marriage is deeply rooted in cultural traditions and communal values. Marriage is often viewed as a social obligation that extends beyond the union of two individuals to encompass families and communities (Iwelunmor et al., 2019). Arranged marriages are not uncommon, and considerations such as familial compatibility, social status, and economic factors play significant roles in the decision-making process. Moreover, polygamous marriages are prevalent in some Sub-Saharan African societies, reflecting cultural norms and historical practices (Clark & Poulin, 2018). These diverse marriage practices contribute to a complex and multifaceted understanding of marital relationships in the region.

[order_button_b]

Implications for Family and Marriage on Sub-Saharan Africa’s Development

The implications of family and marriage concepts on the development of Sub-Saharan Africa are multifaceted. Family structures influence social cohesion and the transmission of cultural values from one generation to the next (Iwelunmor et al., 2019). The emphasis on extended family systems in many Sub-Saharan African societies fosters a sense of community and collective responsibility, which can positively impact social stability. However, challenges arise in the context of economic development, as traditional gender roles and expectations may limit the full participation of women in the workforce (Clark & Poulin, 2018). Furthermore, the prevalence of polygamous marriages can have implications for resource distribution within families.

While it may contribute to social networks and support systems, it can also create complexities in inheritance, property rights, and the allocation of resources among wives and their children (Gelato, 2019). Such intricacies can have repercussions for economic development, potentially affecting education opportunities and access to healthcare for certain family members. In contrast, the individualistic approach to marriage in the United States may foster greater gender equality and personal freedom. However, challenges such as high divorce rates and the potential breakdown of traditional family structures pose their own set of implications for social stability and the well-being of children (Cherlin, 2018). The economic pressures associated with single-parent households or divided families can impact the overall development of individuals and communities.

 Conclusion

The varying concepts of marriage in the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa reflect the complex interplay of cultural, social, and economic factors. Understanding these differences is crucial for grasping the implications of family and marriage on the development of Sub-Saharan Africa. While the communal nature of marriages in Sub-Saharan Africa can contribute to social cohesion, it also presents challenges in the context of modern economic development. The individualistic approach in the United States, on the other hand, highlights issues related to family structure and stability. A nuanced understanding of these concepts is essential for policymakers and scholars working towards sustainable development in the diverse cultural landscapes of Sub-Saharan Africa.

[order_button_c]

References

Cherlin, A. J. (2018). The Marriage-Go-Round: The State of Marriage and the Family in America Today. Vintage.

Clark, S., & Poulin, M. (2018). Polygyny and poverty in sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Senegal. Demography, 55(5), 1821-1852.

Gelato, L. (2019). Polygamy and child health in Sub-Saharan Africa: A cautionary causal analysis. World Development, 113, 252-265.

Iwelunmor, J., Airhihenbuwa, C. O., Okoror, T. A., Brown, D. C., & BeLue, R. (2019). Family systems and collaborative partnerships supporting the integration of traditional healing into a Nigerian mental health program: A case example of psychosis. Globalization and Health, 15(1), 1-12.

Lamidi, E. O., Manning, W. D., & Brown, S. L. (2020). Trends in Cohabitation and Implications for Children’s Family Contexts in the United States. Population Research and Policy Review, 39(6), 1007-1033.

Frequently Ask Questions ( FQA)

1. What are the key differences in the concept of marriage between the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa?

Answer: The concept of marriage differs significantly between the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa. In the U.S., marriage is often seen as a personal choice based on love and companionship, emphasizing individual autonomy. In contrast, Sub-Saharan Africa places a strong emphasis on cultural traditions, communal values, and social obligations, often involving arranged marriages and considerations beyond individual preferences.

2. How does the legal framework surrounding marriage contribute to the understanding of marriage in the United States?

Answer: In the United States, the legal framework surrounding marriage reflects a commitment to individual rights and freedoms. Marriage is considered a voluntary union between consenting adults, with laws emphasizing personal choice. This legal perspective shapes the cultural narrative around marriage in the U.S., highlighting the importance of individual autonomy in marital relationships.

3. What role do cultural traditions play in shaping the concept of marriage in Sub-Saharan Africa?

Answer: Cultural traditions play a significant role in shaping the concept of marriage in Sub-Saharan Africa. Practices such as arranged marriages and the consideration of factors like familial compatibility, social status, and economic considerations are common. These traditions contribute to a multifaceted understanding of marital relationships, reflecting the cultural diversity within the region.

4. How do family structures in Sub-Saharan Africa influence social cohesion and cultural transmission?

Answer: Family structures in Sub-Saharan Africa, often centered around extended family systems, play a crucial role in fostering social cohesion and the transmission of cultural values. The emphasis on collective responsibility within families contributes to a sense of community, influencing social stability and the preservation of cultural heritage from one generation to the next.

5. What are the implications of polygamous marriages for resource distribution within families in Sub-Saharan Africa?

Answer: Polygamous marriages in Sub-Saharan Africa can have implications for resource distribution within families. While these marriages contribute to social networks and support systems, they may also create complexities in areas such as inheritance, property rights, and the allocation of resources among wives and their children. These intricacies can impact economic development and access to education and healthcare for certain family members.