Note the marriage rules that are followed in your society. Compare your observations with these made by other students in the class. Discuss.


-Anushree Ojha, Subject Matter Expert at Edmarz

Solution: Social institutions are defined as a system of rules, practices, beliefs, values, and roles that are developed and followed by a community from a functionalist perspective. Marriage is an example of a social institution designed to suit society’s emotional and familial requirements. When it comes to the institution of marriage, there are many different types of norms and regulations. Each religion and nation have their own traditions for performing rituals and observing institutions. Some traditions support polygamy, but in India, we practise monogamy, which implies that a person is only allowed to marry one person legally.

In modern society, marriage takes many different forms, depending on –

  • The total number of partners, as well as
  • Who is allowed to marry whom

The number of partners is regulated by a rule. Two types of marriage based on this concept —

  • Monogamy – This is when a person can only have one spouse. Only in the event of his or her spouse’s death or divorce can a man or woman remarry. Though it is uncommon for widowed women in Hindu society to remarry, the community is undergoing change, and people’s perspectives are widening.
  • Polygamy allows you to marry multiple people at the same time. It could be polygyny, in which a man has two or more wives, or polyandry, in which a woman has two or more husbands. Polygamy is not frequently practised or accepted in our society.

Rules regarding who is allowed to marry whom – We have two rules based on this: endogamy and exogamy.

  • Individuals under endogamy are only allowed to marry inside their cultural group or the group to which they belong. They are not permitted to marry outside of their caste or clan.
  • In exogamy, no restrictions or limitations are placed on individuals in terms of who they should marry. They have the option of marrying within or outside their own group.

Monogamy and endogamy are the marriage rules that are followed in my society.Other students in my class have made observations that are very similar to mine.

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