In today’s society we all (well, most of us) already have anidea of what our perfect wedding and marriage would be. Even if just a visionduring a day dream, planning for your own wedding or speculations when watchingsomeone else’s wedding, we all have some sort of idea of how a wedding and amarriage should be.

We might not evennotice it but our perceptions of marriage are heavily culturally influenced andchange across cultures. For instance, when you close your eyes and imagine yourwedding, do you picture a white dress, in a church, someone of a similarethnicity, only one partner at the altar, and that partner being someone ofyour choosing?  These are examples ofcultural influence in marriage today.  Asoriginal as all of our wedding plans and ideals of marriage may seem, they areall slight variations of stigmas, and cultural bias’s depicted in marriages weobserve around us.In western culture amarriage is thought of to be between a man and a woman, a man and a man or awoman and a woman, while same sex marriage is still under heavy debate there isone factor in these marriages that both sides (pro and anti-same-sex marriagecrusaders) agree upon but are yet to realize: Monogamy.

Regardless of the sexof the marriage or the partner, in western culture today there is generallyspeaking only one partner. I.e The union between two people.  In western culture we would view the idea ofmultiple spouses or sexual partners as adulterous but in some cultures such asAfrican culture, polygamy is thought of as higher political standing, a sign ofwealth, liberation and power. In Senegal 47% of marriages are polygamous andeven more of a percentage in present in middle eastern countries*. In Americanculture we would not imagine having plural spouses and this is widelyinfluenced by the social construction of our society.

Wherein polygamy inwesternized culture is absent there is less of an influence and plays no rolein the idea of marriage. However, in countries that do practice polygamy andthe ideal is present it is seen to them as normal as a white wedding dresswould be to us in America


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