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Essay Paper on Wedding Ceremony

Sociological theory helps us understand a great variety of social occurrences from different perspectives. There exist different approaches to contemplating these events and characterizing their impacts on people’s behavior and lifestyles. When a wedding ceremony is concerned, it is described by sociology in the following ways.

According to the conflict theory, a person or a group has power over others and influences them in creating some social order. As far as conflict theory lies in the class issue, the question of race and ethnicity and the issue of religion and others, wedding ceremony can be characterized as follows. With regard of the class issue a wedding ceremony is a way for the representatives of different classes to express their dominance and authority, their wealth and possibilities to organize more luxurious celebration. Beside that, when race and ethnicity is concerned, different nations and races have their own wedding traditions considered regular while in other cultures such traditions can be considered savage. Moreover, when it comes, for instance, to religious issues, different religious traditions as well have diverse rituals and rules. All these differences in traditions and ways of conducting wedding ceremonies when compared can cause conflict if there is no ethnical or class or religious tolerance between people.

Another theory in social studies is called structural-functional. It consists in the opinion that the entire society is a system, and its parts work together to promote stability and solidarity. Our human organism is used as a comparative example here. Within structural-functional theory there is an issue connected with the social order. It says that despite of all people acting according to their values and desires their actions are still determined by actions and values of other people and the social order lies in this sequence. According to this issue, wedding ceremony is a necessary part of building romantic relationship between two people as it knits people together by marriage and makes them follow certain norms of behavior of married people. Beside that, scientists who study structural-functional theory are interested in considering manifest and latent ways of social behavior. When it concerns wedding ceremony, the manifest function of visiting it lies in supporting a newly married couple. On the other hand, when the latent function is contemplated, it provides consolidation of the relations between relatives and friends.

There is one more sociological theory – symbolic interaction approach. This approach helps to understand the interrelation between person and society. There are three main principles of symbolic interactionism. First, people behave in relation to things according to the meaning which these they believe the things have. Thus, when wedding ceremony is viewed, people are usually happy to visit it or to be the part of it as they perceive it is as a happy and pleasant event, a celebration that is important for all its participants. Second, meanings of things come from social interaction of a person with other people and the society in general. So if a wedding is a happy holiday for some it is happy for all others present – it is a traditional belief, a kind of a stereotype. Third, individual lines of action fit together and create social action. And thus it is assumed that the perception of a wedding by different people is varied. Consequently, when the wedding is being organized, the bride and groom’s idea of their wedding differs from that of a master of ceremonies. Hence, these ideas can merge and a compromise will be organizing a successful holiday as a result. Here is where individual lines of action result in organizing some social action.

Therefore, it is evident that such notion as a wedding ceremony can be described from a variety of sociological angles and the conclusion can be made that it can also influence people’s behaviors and motivations in different ways…

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