Marriage. Our three NWR essays this week are about marriage—types of marriage that we aren’t necessarily as familiar with. (Please make sure to quote from at least one of the essays in responding.) For this discussion topic, you have one of four discussion sub-topics to choose to write on:

  1. Arranged Marriages: Using what you glean from Lizette Alvarez’s essay “Arranged Marriages Get a Little Reshuffling,” write about the pros and cons of arranged marriage from your perspective but in a They Say/I Say kind of way. As you write, you might also consider these questions: Would you ever consider an arranged marriage for yourself or a child of yours? Under what circumstances would you consider it?
  2. Good Marriage: How would you define a “good marriage”? What characteristics/qualities/support systems/etc. turn a marriage into a good versus a not-so-good one? Please relate your answer to at least one of the three essays we read for this week in NWR, using a They Say/I Say template to do so—and make sure to support what you say with examples and/or other kinds of “evidence.”
  3. Intercultural Marriage (between two people with different cultural backgrounds or from families with different cultural backgrounds): This topic was inspired by K. Oanh Ha’s essay “American Dreamboat” in which she reflects on her marriage to a “white American” and how she is torn between her American and her Vietnamese sides. As she describes it, as she was growing up, she was in “some ways” like “the stereotypical Asian nerd,” but she also wanted badly “’to be like any other American kid”’ (254). In its pre-essay note, the book asks, “Have you dated someone whose background represented a different culture or civilization entirely different from yours. If not, do you know of a couple who signify this coming together of civilizations? How do [or did] you—or they—work out any ‘clashes’?” (252).
  4. Gay Marriage: It was pretty astounding to me to discover that gay marriage had been legalized in Mexico City when it had not yet been legalized in many places that are considered more socially liberal. Based on an analysis of Joseph’s Contreras’ “Legal in Unlikely Places,” as well as on the recent upsurge in states across the U.S. legalizing it, predict whether gay marriage will become legal—and accepted—on a more global scale. On what evidence/logic do you base your prediction—and why is it of significance?

è Marriage can be sort of a ticklish topic; people often hold strong feelings about what it is or what it should be. Please be aware of that as you write your first response to the question and then also be aware of it as you respond to others. In responding to someone else, focus on what was said (versus focusing on the writer) and on the claims made or examples given there. If you disagree—try to do so in a respectful way, i.e., a way that still respects the other’s right to have a different opinion.

I don’t say this to keep you from expressing your opinion; rather, I say it in the hope of continuing what we have already been doing in the class, which is to engage issues, to explore topics, and to have differing opinions while still being able to be civil to and even supportive of each other.

Again, as I think I’ve said elsewhere, this is one reason I like the They Say/I Say format so much. It allows us to juxtapose the positions we hold with other positions in a way that shows we’ve read and understood what another position is about—even if we still (respectfully) disagree

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