The Social Environment Approach

Marital intimacy and aloofness have also been explained as a response to the larger social environment characteristic of a society. Evidence does suggest that patterns of marital interaction are predictably associated with certain features of a couple's overall interpersonal environment. Thus marriages tend to be intimate in societies where people frequently move from place to place or live in communities in which neighbors are not kin. Where people are sedentary and also live near kin, marriages become overwhelmingly aloof (Broude, 1987). The connection between marital relationships and social environment has been interpreted psychologically. The grounding assumption of this interpretation is that human beings everywhere seek membership in a secure interpersonal network. Ideally, that network is composed of kin simply because relatives typically act as a more trustworthy support group than do people who are unrelated by blood. Living arrangements in which people remain in the same location and surrounded by kin provide this ideal support group, with the result that married people look, not to their spouses, but to their kin as their source of interpersonal embeddedness. Hence, we see aloof marriages. Where couples move around a lot and where their neighbors are unrelated individuals, a husband and wife will fall back on the marital relationship for interpersonal security. Intimate marriages are the result (Broude, 1987). This hypothesis regarding the sources of marital intimacy and aloofness suggests that social structural features of a culture can influence the way in which universal psychological needs are met in specific social contexts.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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