There is the common belief that marriage is one of the significant stages in human life. However, every geographical region and every single person can consider the purpose and attitude of marriage differently. In addition, these purposes and attitudes alter through the time by experiencing various historical events.
In this paper, I am going to show the contrast of marriage’s attitude in Central Asia between previous and current generations. To begin with, there is the substantial number of definitions of family and marriage. For example, Merriam-webster dictionary (2018,p.1) explains the marriage as a close union between partners in a consensual or contractual relationship which is accepted by law. While the sociologist Giddens (2009) argued that functionalists define the marriage as a ritual to be a family that contribute basic needs and maintain the social order.
Both authors are certainly right in their definitions. Nevertheless, in a given draft, I will dominantly use the second definition by Giddens. The Swedish sociologist Goren Therborn (2004) discussed that family types originated by a specific religion or philosophical point of view. In the case of Central Asia, the Islam belief contributed to constructing some traditions and laws in the aspect of family and marriage. For instance, there is the taboo that claimed the marriage between a muslim woman and non-muslim man is prohibited.
Additionally, in accordance with Islamic rules, the rich men have the right to have got more than two wives. There are also some traditions that allowed to practise bridge-kidnapping among Kazakh and Kyrgyz nations.(factsanddetails,2018) Kozhakhmetova (2009,p.71), referring to the inequality within the family in past, describes:”The Central Asian family and marriage in history fully showed the characteristics of the patriarchal feudal system. The male patriarch enjoyed absolute authority at home; the wife was subordinate to the husband, and the children to the father. The women had no right to property.
The marriage of the children and the distribution of property were all decided by the patriarch “. To sum up, the attitude of marriage was strongly linked with traditions and religion in Central Asia. These days, because of several reasons such as globalization, feminism and political interventions the attitude to marriage and family responsibilities are changed. These alterations mostly protect the women rights in different aspects like housework, job and parent role.
A good example of that would be Europe, Giddens(2009) proposes that men,nowadays, do much more than in housework than three decades ago. However, in Central Asia, these changes affected differently. Today, because of globalization, the bridge between a muslim woman and muslim man is legislated. Also, the monogamy became more formal compared with past in Central Asia. Nevertheless, as Giddens (2009) claimed: “People’s lives become influenced by their involvement in a national political system”. For example, presidential candidate Amantay Asilbek suggested legislation of polygamy in order to decrease the high rate of single women in Kazakhstan. (The Telegraph,2011) That suggestion was declined but there were supporters who wished reduce the rate of single women.
Meanwhile, the bridge-kidnapping and patriarchy significantly reduced after the appearing of feminist ideology in Central Asia. The bridge-kidnapping became illegal and it is pursued by the law. Therborn (2004) argues that patriarchal power significantly decreased after the active protection of women’s right in every region of the world. However, notwithstanding the fact that both mentioned situations illegal and prohibited by the government, they are still practised in Central Asia. For instances, Dailymail(2014,p.
1) reported about practising the kidnapping bridge in Kyrgyzstan and BBC News(2009,p.1) wrote about regular abusing of Tajik women by their husbands due to patriarchy values. Overall, the changes affected every country in Central Asia in a positive side. However, these changes were not enough to alter the marriage attitude completely. Taking into account all above mentioned facts, one can conclude that Central Asia is the region that is strongly linked with their traditions and religion. Therefore, despite the time, some situations still practising in various countries differently but, generally speaking, the attitude of the marriage of contemporary generation is slightly different than the previous generation.
However, as Parson (2009 cited in Giddens,p.307) explained that the marriage is the step to be a family which have two main functions: 1)primary socialization, helping children to socialize 2)Personality stabilization, family assist children to stabilization of adult personality. What I meant is that these functions, these attitudes are the same with the previous generation.