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Inside the CastleLaw and the Family in 20th Century America$
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Joanna L. Grossman and Lawrence M. Friedman

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691149820

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691149820.001.0001

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Marriage, Law, and Society: A Tangled Web

Marriage, Law, and Society: A Tangled Web

(p.51) Chapter Two Marriage, Law, and Society: A Tangled Web
Inside the Castle

Joanna L. Grossman

Lawrence M. Friedman

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores marriage in the social and legal context. It looks at who marries, and what marriage seems to mean to them. Marriage is a crucial social institution, and many people bemoan the state of American marriage: opponents of same-sex marriage, supporters of the patriarchal family, anti-divorce moralists, advocates for children, and so on. Marriage may be weaker than before, it may have changed greatly; but it is still fundamental to society and to the lives of people in America. And its consequences reverberate throughout society and the law. Thus the chapter discusses what marriage means in law: the rights and obligations of married couples, including economic rights. It also looks at the darker side of marriage—domestic violence and marital rape.

Keywords:   marriage, social institutions, American marriage, married couples, economic rights, domestic violence, marital rape

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