This research measures why young adults choose to get married. I designed my own survey, which was distributed to College of Wooster students and alumni. I used frequencies and cross-tabs in order to see which factors have the greatest impact on the students and alumni's desire to marry. I use relevant research from sociology and anthropology, as well as history and psychology to discuss why certain factors are important in the decision to marry. The theories of Arnold van Gennep, Niklas Luhmann, and Axel Honneth to deepen the understanding as to why marriage is still a valued institution. Ultimately, most young adults' have multiple motivations to get married. The motivation that is unique to marriage is the legal recognition of love which, according to my theoretical analysis, contributes to the development of the self.


Craven, Christa


Sociology and Anthropology


Family, Life Course, and Society


marriage, millenials

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2013 Amanda Collins