The Effect Of Modernization On Traditional Marriage

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The Effect Of Modernization On Traditional Marriage


This study investigated effect of modernization on traditional marriage in Ibarapa North Local Government area of Oyo State. Questionnaire was developed and used to collect relevant data from randomly selected teachers from eight secondary schools in the Local Government Area.

One hundred subjects were randomly selected as samples for the study. Percentage method of data analysis was used to analyze the data collected.

Findings from this study revealed that modernization has many effect on traditional marriage in Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State.

Recommendations based on the findings from the study were made in the last chapter of this study.

Chapter One

1.0. Introduction

1.1. Background to the Study

Marriage is an institution ordained by God which has been in existences since creation. It is an essential step towards family formation. However, it varies from one culture to another. It is through marriage that new rights roles and new social relationship are formed between families of the spouses.

Family systems past and present are established on their performance of the basic social functions of child bearing; child rearing and the regulations of sexual behaviour. In a traditional system of marriage is regarded as a long life process or a continual process because even if a husband dies, the wife is still transferred to or inherited by another man in the same family; and before man chooses his wife, there would be various investigations as to the type of family where the would be spouse comes from. There is an intermediary between the prospective husband and wife who will act as a solicitor between them and his or her work will be terminated after a solid relationship has been established between the would be coupled with this system, family separation or divorce was a rare phenomenon in the past.

In Nigeria however, particularly in Yoruba land much importance is attached to marriage which is essentially polygamous. The accumulation of wives and children is one of the best ways of measuring a man’s social prestige in Yoruba land. It is the importance attached to marriage that takes the people involve in the marriage of their sons and daughters. They believe that when a man reaches the age of puberty, or fully matured, it is their right and duty to look for a good wife such as a person.

1.2. Statement of the Problem

Modernization has negatively and positively polluted the traditional system of marriage in Ibarapa Maladjustment to this social factor if not curbed is capable of rendering Yoruba culture inferior to other world cultures. The resultant influences of it may cause and have been causing serious marriage problems in Ibarapa community. Among the marriage problems emanating as a result of modernization are high rate of divorce, high rate of bride price or wealth, infidelity, child abuse to mention a few.

1.3. Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study include:

  1. To find out whether traditional marriage entails some practices which may pass with time.
  2. To identify the changes that traditional marriage has witnessed as a result of modernization.

1.4. Scope and Limitation to the Study

The scope of this study is limited to Ibarapa where One Hundred members of the community were randomly selected as samples for the study. This study is limited to Ibarapa community due to time factor and financial constraints.

1.5. Research Questions

The following research questions were answered in this study.

  1. Has modernization reduced parental control on the choices of marriage partners for their children?
  2. Has modernization affected the choice of marriage partner in Ibarapa?
  3. Has modernization greatly increased the rate of divorce in Ibarapa?
  4. Has modernization removed the involvement of intermediary in marriage institution in Ibarapa?

1.6. Definition of Key Terms

To clarify the meaning of some terms, concepts and key words used in this paper, their definitions are given. For the purpose of this study, the following key terms are defined.

1. Modernization:

In this study, modernization is defined in general terms as new method of getting married or modern way method of getting married in our society nowadays. It can also be referred to as modernization.

2. Marriage:

The next variable to be defined is marriage. This is a social institution for the union of a man and his wife in body and soul (Olayinka, 1987), it is the legal union of a man and a woman as husband and wife with the consent of the two families.

3. Family:

It can be defined as the smallest unit of organization in a society and consists of people related by blood and sometimes by marriage. Father, mother with or without children always constitutes a family.

4. Spouse:

It is the term used when referring to husband or wife in the institution of marriage.

5. Monogamy:

It is one of the forms of marriage whereby a man marry only one wife. This form of marriage is associated with Christian religions.

6. Polygamy:

This is a form of plural marriage in which one man is married to more than one wife. The family of such man is sometimes refers to a polygamous home.

Chapter Five

Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Conclusion

The quest for order in the society cannot be fruitful until the foundation of the society is revisited. Our nation would probably not have had so much problems confronting it today if the various families had lived up to expectation, because, as it has been shown in this paper, everyone on the street is a product of a family. If the father has actually fathered and the mother mothered, the chance of the children misbehaving in the society would have been reduced to the barest minimal. All these cannot be because our society has been disconnected from its roots. For instance, how can the mothers of today live up to her duties at home when she wants to be to be a socialite? Women want to be everywhere, competing with men not for equality but for supremacy. They want to oppress other women and men. Women want to put on the best clothes, have the latest car, and get to the highest peak of education. Anyone who expect them to achieve these they desires and still have time to perform their domestic duties expect too much from them. Yet, this is not the fault of women, it is one of the evils done to the cultural values of Africa by Christianity (or the way it is interpreted in Africa), and westernization. One wonders aloud the basis of women liberation in Africa.

Liberation from what? By far, traditional Africa provided a better way for strong and stable society. Efforts are made to see that there is orderliness in the society by building homes. There are cases of divorce today even among our clergies who claimed to have seen their wives and husbands in the visions that were revealed to them. Months after those who claimed that they love each other got wedded in the churches, mosques and courts, they get divorced, and one is tempted to ask where is the place of love in marriage, my mother never told my father once that she loved him, neither did I heard my father telling my mother that he loved her, yet, they lived in love and peace. What helped them was the background provided for them by the traditional African setting. They were taught that marriage is a responsibility and they were well prepared for it. In spite of the challenges in marriage, divorce was never considered as an option in the past, unlike today where marriage has become: “for better for stay for worse for go.” Parents, for the reasons best known for them, retain the apartment of their daughters getting married and give her the impression that if the place is not favaourable to her, she is free to come back to them, after all, her apartment has not been leased out. Cases of broken homes abound in our society today. Single mothers are common, courtesy of the feminists or the so-called women liberators. Unfortunately, some of these women liberators face more challenges at home more than the people they are liberating but endure them. Children from broken homes suffer unless where solid arrangement and absolute commitment is made to come to their aid. This portends danger for the much desired sustainable development in Africa. Everything about the past is not glorious, and so, one is not calling for a return to it, however, it must be said that everything about the past was not bad. One of the good things about the past is the traditional marriage system, and it is believed that something good can be taken from it.

5.2 Recommendations

It is therefore recommended that: married men and women should see marriage as a responsibility and not a matter of fun. Husband and wife should make up their minds to live up to their responsibilities at home. The husband owes it as a duty to his family to provide for them, not because he loves them but more importantly, because it is his family. A man who cannot provide for the needs of his family destroys the essence of having one Any assistance rendered by the wife should be acknowledged by the man, and must not be turned into a responsibility. The primary duty of the wife is home management. This includes; caring for the husband and the children, cooking for them at the right time, and other domestic work. Wives should feel happy doing all these, and peradventure there is the need for the husband to do any of these, it should not be seen as his duty. Intending couples should also know that marriage is not for the immature, but for those who are ready to carry out responsibilities. Efforts should be made to know the background of the wife or –husbandto-be. For the ladies, a man who does not take care of his parents is not likely to take care of any lady. For the young boys, a lady who shows any form of disrespect for her parents is not likely going to respect her in-laws. The place of investigation cannot be overemphasized in marriage and should be revisited in our modern days. It is also recommended that family members should limit their desires. Experience has shown that there are many things we desire that we do not actually need. One way we can maximize our happiness is by limiting our desires. Unlimited or uncontrolled desires have spelt doom for many people and families. The roles of the Churches should also be limited in marriage. Marriage should be primarily family affair. The Church has two major roles to play in marriage; to pray for the couple and to advise them. Also, couples should not beget children when they are not prepared for them. A look at many of the children around us gives the impression that their parents do not want them or prepared for them. Children should be properly taken care of. Single parents are not likely able to bring up children in proper way. Efforts must therefore be made to avoid broken homes, if not for anything but for the future of the children. Finally, it is recommended that courts should only dissolve marriage except on extreme cases, especially when it is established that the couples can no longer live together as husband and wives. Where children are involved in marriages, special arrangement should be made to ensure that they do not suffer for the offences they did not commit.

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