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Marriage as a Social Institution Exercise: Class 12 English

Stephen L. Nock's Essay Marriage as a Social Institution Exercise: Questions Answers Solution note for NEB Class 12 English Essay Section Chapter 2.

Marriage as a Social Institution Exercise

Stephen L. Nock Essay, Marriage as a Social Institution Exercise: Questions Answers Solution note for Class 12 English.

Understanding The Text.

Answer the following questions.

a. According to the author, what is marriage?

Answer➡ According to the author, marriage is a relationship defined by legal, moral, and conventional assumptions.

b. How is marriage an institution?

Answer➡ Marriage is considered as institution because marriage is a social and legal structure that serves many social, economical, moral, lawful, political, psychological and biological functions for a community.

c. What are the rules that a marriage has?

Answer➡ Marriage has a large set of well-understood rules that help in the planning and maintenance of the spouses’ life.

d. Why does marriage matter to men?

Answer➡ Marriage matters to men because it provides structure to their lives and organizes their goals and ambitions. They become responsible in social, economic, physical, and family requirements.

e. What is one of the central problems in modern society?

Answer➡ One of the central problems in modern society is putting various legitimate boundaries around modern individuals seemingly limiting the desires for wellbeing, comfort, luxury and prestige.

f. What does social capital consist of?

Answer➡ Social capital consists of extensive networks of individuals linked by bonds of trustworthiness and trust.

g. What is normative marriage? Explain. 

Answer➡ A normative marriage is a marriage that follows social norms and values or one which is built on pre-established norms and values. For example, in the United States, the six dimensions define normative marriage.

Reference to the Context.

a. Discuss six dimensions that define normative marriage in America. 


Marriage is present everywhere but the concept of marriage differs from place to place. Every society has its own norms and values regarding marriage. Whatever the case, it gives two adults of different genders the legal right to live as life partners fulfilling each other's wishes. Every marriage everywhere follows norms and patterns, the same is the case in the USA. The patterned marriage known as normative marriage follows six dimensions in America. They are:

1. Marriage is a free personal choice, based on love.

2. Maturity is a presumed requirement for marriage.

3. Marriage is a heterosexual relationship.

4. The husband is the head, and principal earner, in a marriage.

5. Sexual fidelity (faithfulness) and monogamy are expectations for marriage.

6. Marriage typically involves children.

b. Do marriages differ according to culture? How is your marriage practice different from marriage in America?


Marriages differ according to culture. We find different types of marriages in different cultures and locations. Even within our country, the marriages of one geographical region is different from another geographical region. For example, the marriage tradition of Terai region is different from the marriage tradition of mountainous region. Similarly, the marriage practices of Hindu people are different than the practices of Buddhist people. However, the Hindu religion is followed by the majority of Nepalese people. So, it is mostly guided by Hindu religion.

Marriage, in our opinion, is a social, spiritual, cultural, and legal connection between a man and a woman as husband and wife. It is also the beginning of a relationship between two families. Our marriage practices are different from those in the United States because our practices are guided by Hindu tradition, whereas the practices of United States are guided by Christian tradition. They follow different trends for wedding ceremony.

Reference beyond the context.

a. Write an essay on the marriage practice in your own culture.


Marriage Practice in my Own Culture

By marriage, we understand a union of two or more people that creates a family tie and carries legal, social, and/or religious rights and responsibilities.

Marriage is much more than the fulfilment of a bonded sexual desire by two adult individuals of different sexes. The concept of marriage is changing day by day. Relationships that were previously considered taboo are accepted today, for example, our society now allows transgender marriages.

In our societies, we find different types of marriages and their existence. We find marriages such as monogamy in which a person is allowed to have only one spouse, serial monogamy—one spouse remarries the second after the death or divorce of the first spouse; Polygamy - a person having multiple husbands and wives; Polyandry - a wife having multiple husbands; Intermarriage within a group; and exogamy- marriage in another group.

As in my case, I belong to Hinduism. In our religion, we have our own norms and values of marriage. It is taken as a religious sacrament rather than a social contract. It is a socially accepted union of a mature man and a woman whose purpose is to procure, enjoy and comply with certain social obligations. A party from the side of the girl and the other party of the boy is the pre-wedding occasion called engagement. The to-be partners exchange a ring and garland each other. The ceremony is sanctioned by a family priest reciting mantras and performing rituals. The date of marriage is fixed on that day.

b. Is marriage a social institution? Discuss.


The concept of marriage varies depending on the individual, his philosophy and his way of thinking. Marriage is often defined as a legal partnership between two persons of different sexes who have a personal relationship, residential cohabitation, economic cooperation, the development of a nuclear family, the birth of children, and the satisfaction of sexual needs. It is considered an institution because it adheres to established law; customs, patterns, and norms that are significant to society. 

People establish such institutions to lawfully satisfy their wants from various people, places, and objects. People of all sexes fulfil their needs and goals through being accepted into society and adhering to social norms and values. Marriage is a worldwide occurrence. It has been practised in every country, society, and tribe since the dawn of human civilisation. It is eternal and will exist till the end of human civilization. 

Marriage is a dynamic term since the marriage system of the past is not the same as the marriage system of today. Child marriage was once lawful, but it is no longer; widow marriage is now legal, and transgender marriage is also legal. It grants legal privileges such as birth certificates and citizenship to children born outside of a married couple, and it is recognised by religion, government, and other social organisations.

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About the Author

Iswori Rimal is the author of, a popular education platform in Nepal. Iswori helps students in their SEE, Class 11 and Class 12 studies with Complete Notes, important questions and other study materials.

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