Monday, September 04, 2006
How to Work Out which Social Crowd You Will Belong to After Marriage
Are you from the same or different social crowds? What crowd will you go with after your marriage?
For example, consider Jim and Mary. Mary's crowd is decidedly the "sporty" type. They swim, sail, play considerable tennis and golf. Their conversations center about horse-racing, ball games, and tournaments. Jim's group is more the "artistic-intellectual" type. They are interested in novels, plays, paintings, and discuss international and social problems with considerable zeal. We may well ask why Jim and Mary became interested in each other in the first place. Perhaps each wanted somewhat more variety than he was getting. In any case, here they are, about to marry. They will continue to live in the same town. With which crowd shall they establish their common social life? Perhaps the best way to answer this question is to ask another.
What will make the choice of a social crowd important or unimportant?
The seriousness of this problem will depend largely upon such factors as the following:
- The strength of the attachment which each person has to his or her group. If Mary's crowd is just a group which she has picked up recently in order to have some fun for a time, she may be able to drop them with little concern. Or, if Jim is already beginning to be "fed up" with his group, he may welcome the excuse to let go. But what if Mary has gone with her crowd since early childhood, and their families have constantly moved in the same circles? Or what if Jim finds his crowd his only relief from what is to him the "moronic drivel" of most everyone else? If the attachments of each are too strong and no satisfactory adjustment seems likely, there is a real question as to whether they should marry each other. In any case, the problems and possibilities should be carefully reviewed in advance.
- The extent to which social class is involved. If both groups are upper-middle class, for example, that will be one less thing to worry about. But what if Mary's crowd is upper class with definite status, while Jim's is a somewhat Bohemian crowd without definite status attachments, who do not "rate?" Behavior standards demanded. What if Jim's group are strong on Martinis and "broad-minded" regarding sex conduct, while Mary's group emphasizes physical fitness, temperance, and rather strict sex standards? If they go with either or both crowds, even part of the time, each will be subjected to group pressure to change standards, a situation which could add much to the difficulties of the marriage. The same issue often arises in the conflicts in standards of other groups. For example, a church group may have quite as much fun, but very different standards and ways of getting it from a "fast" group of another type.
If each member of the couple comes from a group whose standards conflict with those of the other group, the problem of social adjustment may prove to be really difficult. It is important that the couple should know the kinds of difficulties which they are likely to run up against, and to have at least temporary policies which they have agreed upon in advance, until more permanent ones can be worked out.
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