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whiteliondreams's avatar

Would marriage and cohabitation fall under values or categories?

Asked by whiteliondreams (1717points) June 25th, 2012

I’m working on a middle ground essay for my english class and while I understand the distinction between negotiating or compromising, I was trying to figure out the difference between the value and categorization of comparable subjects.
Ie. Vehicles hold a particular value, whereas their colors pertain to a category. How can I learn to understand the concept a little easier?

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14 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

This is where English and writing get difficult. They fall under both: “Marriage” and “Cohabitation” are both societal values of how men and women might live together, and differing people have different values assigned to them.

They are also categories of how people may or may not live together, and the differences may be enumerated.

Your example also confuses the two, as a red Ferrari may be worth more (or less) than a bright pink one.

And remember, “values” may be subjective (I value “love” above formal “marriage”) or objective: ( The red 2012 Porsche costs $xxx while the 2002 Subaru is only worth $yyy)

So perhaps if you can tell us what your thesis statement for your essay is, and a bit more on your question, we can offer help.

wundayatta's avatar

Categorization is how humans organize things. We group like with like across many different attributes. Consider a set of stones picked up from a beach. Sort them. You could sort them based on many attributes: color, size, hardness, shape, reflectiveness, source, etc., etc.

So let’s say we sort based on color. We sort them into five different colors. We could sort them into as many colors as there are stones, no doubt, but that doesn’t really help us. We are helped more when we group like with like, so we make five different groups of stones and call each of them a separate color, even though the stones at the margins could fit into two different colors.

Humans use categorization to understand just about everything. Marriage and cohabitation are types of relationships between people.

You can also categorize values. Depending on how you define “value,” you could label marriage and cohabitation as labels of different values. You could do that, but I wouldn’t. I would try to be a bit more precise about what values I was categorizing. And there is a difference between valuing marriage or valuing cohabitation and saying that marriage is a value.

Values should be larger, in my opinion. More universal. So I would say that one might value faithfulness. Marriage is an institution that typically asks for faithfulness (thought not always), but you can be faithful in other kinds of relationships. Marriage neither forces us to be faithful nor is it a requirement for faithfulness.

Marriage and cohabitation, it seems to me, are best used as categories for relationships. They can be used as labels for values, but I don’t think that is a clear thing to do. I wouldn’t do it.

marinelife's avatar

Values have to do with your internal attitude toward life and society. For example, if honest is important to you, you place a high value on it.

Categories are ways to describe things. Marriage and cohabitation both belong in the category of relationships.

whiteliondreams's avatar

Thank you all, I understand a little better the notion, but what I am trying to understand is if I pronounce marriage and cohabitation as values, what does it mean? How do you valuate the two as opposed to categorizing? The reason I can’t ask the right question is because I don’t understand the definitions. I was reading this in my class text under the Middle Ground writing style, which I have to do this week. The reason I was asking about the marriage and cohabiting is because that was my last essay on the Rogerian method. I needed to find a common ground between marriage and cohabiting and that is the relationship itself, not the status. So would a status be considered the value, whereas the relationship is the category? See where I’m getting?

marinelife's avatar

No, I’m afraid I don’t precisely understand your point. You can have values that impact your attitudes about marriage and cohabitation, but they are not values.

For instance, cohabitation without marriage could be against your value system. Or your value system could make gay marriage acceptable to you.

wundayatta's avatar

Values that can affect both marriage and cohabitation include fidelity and respect, for example. Values that are not common in the two categories include formalization of the relationship, or religious or social sanction. I.e., if you value sanction of your relationship, you will want to get married. If you don’t think that is important, you will cohabitate. In both marriage and cohabitation, people traditionally value fidelity. However, this is not always the case. You could have both a marriage and a cohabitation that were open relationships.

I’m sure you can think of many other values that people hold about relationships, and you can decide for yourself whether or not they fit in each type of relationship.

cazzie's avatar

The value might be the selection or choice by the two people to live monogamously, but there are different types of monogamy. There is social monogamy, where the people may stray from time to time, but stay in the relationship because they are socially ‘a couple’ with shared assets and social routines. Here is an interesting video about monogamy.

whiteliondreams's avatar

Ok ok ok. We need to start from scratch because my question is not going to be answered.

I am discussing middle ground arguments for english 102.

“for instance, if one side wants the group to purchase 100 widgets and another side wants the group to get 50, it would make sense to settle on the mean number 75. This is different than bargaining because rather than exchanging concessions on particular points, one is proposing a mean or median of the two positions. This is often easiest to do when the point of disagreement has a value that can be averaged. For instance, we discussed the easy ability to average the number of widgets a group might purchase. It would be more difficult if the group were debating what color cdgets a group might purchase. It would be more difficult if the group were debating what color car to purchase. In this example it would not be possible to simply merge yellow and blue to settle on a green car. Colors are categories not values, so compromise in this case is trickier” (Driver).

How do I categorize or value marriage and cohabitation (relationship status) if I were discussing the common ground, which is relationship expectations and dedication?

My previous essay was finding the common ground, my topic was marriage or cohabiting? The common ground is that whichever is chosen, the purpose is to respect each other, have open communication, ensure expectations are dictated and known such as finances, children, religiosity, etc.

Work Cited

Driver, Helen, Natascha Gast, and Susan Lowman-Thomas. English 102 – Effectiveness in

Writing. 2012.

zenvelo's avatar

So what you are really looking for are common attributes, and also differences. You know what those are. But there is not a “value” (number) that can be assigned to marriage or cohabitation. You cannot find a compromise between those two states. There is no middle state.

whiteliondreams's avatar

I wish I could give you like 100 Great Answers. Yes, that’s the answer I have been looking for. Why can’t I put things together as such? I have that problem with many “simple” solutions. So, we can agree that categories without a certain numerical or quantitative value cannot be negotiated or compromised, yes? Is this an example of such a compromise? Agreeing on the inability?

zenvelo's avatar

Be careful to not fall into logical errors. Even with values you cannot compromise.

If you say 100 deaths from a war with Syria are acceptable, but I say zero are acceptable, we will not compromise at 50 deaths.

Take a look at arguments to moderation on Wikipedia.

wundayatta's avatar

Marriage and cohabitation are not the only two options, I’m afraid. You could have plural marriage. You could break up entirely. I’m sure if you thought about it, you could come up with many different models for relationships. You could marry but live in separate places. You could not marry, but be exclusive with each other and live in separate places.

You need to look at what both parties want out of the relationship. You mentioned respect, communication, financial cooperation, children, religious participation, community participation and more. I would add companionship, alone time, business partnership, travel partner, caretaker, intellectual companion, and probably many more. My guess is that you could build a scale of all these things, and the more people want overall of all of them, the more likely they will be to marry.

However, some people may want a close relationship, and yet not want to live together. They may not want children. They may not want to share finances. Still, some may see marriage as an expression of commitment, even if they don’t want to spend time together, so they may still choose to get married even though they don’t want anything else.

Similarly, some people may see it as a financial relationship more than an emotional relationship. They may want to marry in order to get the financial benefits of marriage, but may have no interest in really sharing a bed or even food. I think this is illegal if you marry someone to make them a citizen, but it is ok if you are both Americans. Citizenship can be a marriage issue.

This is all to say that I think you can make compromises on the form of the relationship. There are many forms of marriage and cohabitation. Those labels cover quite a lot of behavior.

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