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What comes to mind when you think about marriage? Even if you’ve never been married, you probably picture a wedding ceremony that focuses on glowing bride looking beautiful in a white dress, and contemplating the implications of marriage likely leads you to imagine things like joint bank accounts, squabbles about the chores and—hopefully—deep-seated affection. However, have you ever stopped to consider that marriage may not always have meant the same thing, and that (even now) its meaning varies dramatically across cultures?
TED educator Alex Gendler brings you this fantastic animated video explanation of the history of marriage, starting with its origins. As he looks at the development of the typical western idea of marriage, he offers a slew of important insights on what might count as a marriage and where these conditions on legal unions have come from. His topical musings relate not only to same-sex
partnerships but also to the possibility of having more than one spouse and to less-discussed ideas like marriage between the living and dead.
In just five minutes, you’ll learn more about the concept of marriage that you ever could hope to lean from a stack of bridal magazines. Gendler’s brief lesson is packed with information that will leave you questioning your current assumptions about marriage and reflecting on how society’s changing values will continue to modify the definition of marriage in the years to come.