Marriage within Scottish culture

Katie Barclay

in Love, Intimacy and Power

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780719084904
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702598 | DOI:
Marriage within Scottish culture

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This chapter provides the institutional and cultural context for marital relationships in Scotland, highlighting how the Church, State and popular culture created a patriarchal context for marriage that helped frame the nature of the marital relationship in Scotland. This framework informs how people negotiated marital relationships. As in most of Europe, patriarchal social relations underpinned all forms of human interaction in Scotland through the seventeenth and into the late nineteenth century. A male head of household presiding over his subordinates, which included his wife, resident adult offspring, young children and servants, was the ideal form of household and the very basis of the social order. Symbolically, the conjugal relationship was the epitome of patriarchy, which all other social relationships, including that of king and subjects, should emulate. The ideal marriage featured a benevolent husband who offered wise and kind rule to his obedient wife.

Keywords: marital relationship; Europe; patriarchal social relations; marriage; epitome of patriarchy

Chapter.  12853 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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