Essay on Marriage Markets in America
Marriage is like a good cardio workout. If it is never challenging you are probably not doing it correctly. Marriage is falling in love many times, always with the same person. Marriage is a blessing and it most likely to be one of the most challenging blessings a human being can have. Marriage is what we make it to be, but in the article “Marriage Markets” the authors state otherwise. The authors June Carbone and Naomi Cahn who are well-known experts on the subject of marriage, claim that mariage markets are the reason as to why we marry certain people. They prove that the common explanations for the shift in American families are not what you think. They address the real reasons behind the changing of the American family. After reading their article, me eyes were opened up to many different aspects of markets in social strata and its role. As stated in the article marriage is affected by social classes, if marriage is affected by social classes then so is our social strata. Social strata is a society’s categorization of its people. The factors that way in on social strata are income, race, and education. All of these factors affect who we marry and so on, it essentially scripts our lives without us even knowing. Nowadays, social media is affected by social strata as much as marriage. Certain dating applications such as Tinder use our social starta to match you with someone with a similar social strata. Social strata within these worlds of online media are important factors in marriage markets. Our social classes make who we are and believe it or not, it affects who you
will spend the rest of your life with. Social media applications could make you think your social strata does not play a role in finding your match, but in reality it does and many do not notice it.
In America there are many changes that are occurring, such as the rate of marriage, marriage failures, and the age of marriage rising. The article states that Americans are waiting longer to get married, Americans are putting their education before their personal affairs and lives. Education has a lot to do with inequality because pursuing your career first is one of the ways to not be in a lower class and social strata. This rising of inequality has affected men more than woman. Men who are a part of the upper class are looking for a partner with a high-status, creating a “gender bargain”. These gender bargains have consequences for the top and bottom of the socio economic system. This causes men and women to become more pickier about their partners in a relationship. The authors mention that “ Women used to “shop around” for successful men. Male executives used to marry their secretaries, who would take care of them at home the way they did in the office.” ( Cahn/Carbone, 79). Today men and women could “shop around” for their partners using social media applications. Tinder is one of the most popular online dating applications, it virtually makes the dating process easier. It offers a chance to expand beyond our campuses or workplaces and without any effort Tinder is able to use social strata to give you pairs and suggestions. Liking and disliking others looking for partners, creates a social strata market as well. Based on the users approval a market is created that the user is in control of, but does not realize. The user's actions within the application categorize their social strata, making their class, race and possibly education level visible. In my personal opinion, social strata is a very complex aspect of our lives. We are sorted into hierarchies in society with
differences that have a dominant effect on our lives. It is indirectly affecting our scripts without any notice by the majority.
Americans seem to overlook the fact that social classes and economic changes have changed the foundations of family life. “Shifts in the economic change the way men and women match up, and, over time they alter young people’s expectations about each other and about their prospects in newly reconstituted marriage markets.” (Cahn/Carbone, 80) mentioned by the authors this results in changes in family values. These family foundations that are changing are due to classes that trigger inequality. Social media users who are wealthy, look for partners who are wealthier and they want to form stable unions with them. In the poorest sectors of marriage, such as the working class, marriage rates are low and divorce rates are high. The repercussions of these changes prove a drastic change for men and women in the dating world. Women face a struggle with economically vulnerable men, and men face the struggle of seeming less attractive marriage partners to working females. Based on one's social class they fit in into certain circumstances and they may also have different family foundations. Having different family foundations could lead to troubled marriages between couples. Social media is a great feature of the internet, but I think it does more harm than it does good. I think that social media applications like Instagram and Facebook cause harm to couples, such as jealousy and cheating. Additionally, social media exposes people of all ages, especially younger people the content that could cause problems in their personal relationships or family ties. Applications cause couples in relationships to live separate lives, causing divorce within couples. Once again, applications
match up and force people to change their views because of social strata and the weighing factors of the economy. These are a few of the many reasons that the authors, Cahn and Carbone mention of failing marriages in America.
In conclusion, marriage markets are inevitable. The facts about the effects of social classes on marriage is undeniable. In “Marriage Markets” June Carbone and Naomi Cahn make exceptional claims about a market that I think will always be evolving. The factors that weigh in on marriages and online dating are very similar. The factors have everything to do with social classes and strata. The article does not state a solution to the problems that marriage markets bring upon people in different classes, but I think that marriage markets are inescapable. We are bound to end up with someone that are of the same social class, strata, and even similar family values and foundations. It is crazy to think that something like our social classes determine our future husband or wife, but in reality it does make sense. Also, it is scary that even our social media accounts have a online social strata as well. They have a social strata based on our doings on the application. Marriages as I stated before is going to be difficult, it should never be a breeze. The reason modern-day couples enter into martial bargains requires an understanding of available men and women in a given market. Think of it as supply and demand, but with marriages and ratios. More than ever, social class is the spur of marriage markets. Many do not realize that there are markets beyond those related to marriage, such online market that could determine a very important future.
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