Taboos In Arab Culture

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In choosing a marriage partner the basic taboos like incest are the same in both these cultures. Within the Arab culture religion plays a significant role in establishing the taboos; unlike in the American culture were most of the taboos are based on socially accepted norms. One of the major differences in this area is first cousin marriages. In the Arab culture it is encouraged that first cousins marry each other if they fail to do so a stigma will be attached to the woman; this is common in some of the Arab Badwin (Nomads) subculture. In some western societies, including in America, there is an engagement in the practice of marrying a cousin and to a very limited extent it is still practiced in some regions. However, due to the social stigma…show more content…
Historically, most of the marriages in the Arab culture are arranged marriages; usually the parents will choose the partner, inform the man and the woman of their intentions and proceed with the arrangement. In some more liberal communities, parents may try to recommend some choices and allow the children to choose. In the past, there was not much time given for courtship and getting acquainted with each other. In some tribal communities, the two may have not seen each other at all or the marriage could have been arranged during childhood. This practice has changed somewhat in modern Arabia due the Western world influence. If arrangements are made and both families approve, the two can have some influence with regard to the date of marriage and can have a period of supervised courtship. This is in sharp contrast to the American society were the man and the women do not need to not need to gain family approval and can live together for an indefinite period of time before they decide to get married (Little and price,…show more content…
When looking at differences between cultures one must not be judgmental. What works for one society my not work for another due to a number of reasons. Our society in America has evolved over the past two centuries to arrive to where it’s at today. Some of the marriage practices that are prevalent in the Arab world today were practiced in our American society in the past. We have a completely different dynamic within our American society. The “melting pot” concept has shaped a lot of our norms and the separation of state and church has limited the religious influence. The Arab culture has evolved over thousands of years and religion is a very integral part of the culture. In both cultures, however, the basic belief in marriage as the glue that holds the family together is prevalent. Social issues like divorce, teenage pregnancy, equal rights, women’s rights, and family violence are affecting all societies. By respecting other societies and accepting them as they are, we may be able to learn from each other and better our own

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