Love and Marriage, Globally

Donner, Henrike. 2012. Love and Marriage, Globally. Anthropology of this Century, 4(2), [Article]

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Abstract or Description

One of the expectations of modernity is that the world should “become smaller”, which is really just another way of saying that it should become more homogenous. This homogeneity, it is suggested, extends to social relationships, including the most intimate ones. Thus, family and kinship are increasingly defined, everywhere, in terms of monogamous marriage and the nuclear family, in spite of these being recent phenomena in much of the world. Giddens’s writings, which are among the more enlightened on the subject, sketch out an influential modernist narrative in which love matches and smaller households – built on a culture of individualism, an ideology of choice, and a stress on what has been termed “coupledom” – have spread around the world. The global proliferation of such things as Valentine’s day celebrations and elaborate honeymoons, as well as the emergence of normative legal discourses concerning acceptable matches between persons, including those of the same sex, seems to back up this narrative.

Item Type:



Love; Intimcay; Marriage; Anthropology; Ethnography

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2 June 2011Accepted
8 May 2012Published

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Date Deposited:

08 Sep 2017 10:21

Last Modified:

10 May 2018 16:02

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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