This assignment has 3 components.
You will write a brief “personals-column type ad” for your “ideal” spouse/partner. The ad should be constructed in the styles of these types of ads (e.g. single female seeks…. etc. or single male seeks) The ad needs to include all the characteristics, elements, and traits you think you would want in your perfect life partner; the ad should be grounded in the social processes that shape marriage in your culture, i.e., the ad needs to reflect your culture’s ideology, kinship patterns (descent and alliance traditions), marriage practices (age, arranged or choice, within social class- endogamous or hypergamous, etc.), post marital residence patterns and impact of ecology and material culture on social life.
After completing your personal ad from your particular cultural perspective, select one of the cultures/case studies that you have read in the Marriage in Culture book, or one of the ethnographic videos, and write a personal ad that a woman or a man (or mother, father, match maker, etc.) in that particular culture might write in looking for a spouse. Include as many features, elements and traits that would be important for a successful marriage in the culture chosen given the social processes shaping marriage in that specific culture.
The last component of this assignment you will write a brief essay comparing and contrasting the two ads that you have written. What do the similarities and difference tell you about how marriage and gender roles are shaped by the social processes, including kinship, that drive and reproduce culture? In developing your analysis, consider what Coontz describes about “love” marriages, and the question Stockard asks in the “Epilogue” of her book, “What are the connections between marriage practice and other fields of social life? How does post marital residence practice, together with other social processes, shape the meaning of marriage?” (pg.101).