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Sociology   >   State Recognition of Relationships


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State Recognition of Relationships

In this course, Dr Rosie Nelson (University of Bristol) explores state recognition of relationships and the family. In the first lecture, we think about the concept, function and importance of marriage in society, today and historically. In the second lecture, we think about how marriage is related to and viewed by LGBTQ+ people. In the third lecture, we think about how queer theory views marriage. Next, we think about how to define gender in social research. In the fifth and final lecture, we think about how researchers can study gender effectively, as well as the challenges around doing this in quantitative and qualitative research.


In this lecture, we think about the concept, function and importance of marriage, focusing in particular on: (i) some examples of how the state influences family life, including through child tax credits and tax benefits to married couples; (ii) some of the key legal elements related to marriage; (iii) the potential importance to individuals of their relationship’s social recognition once married; (iv) the expense of a typical Christian wedding forming part of the prestige of marriage; (v) the ‘once in a lifetime’ narrative of a Christian wedding; (vi) understanding a wedding to be a symbol of heterosexuality and a representative of heteronormativity.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Nelson, R. (2023, June 22). State Recognition of Relationships - Marriage [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Nelson, R. "State Recognition of Relationships – Marriage." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 22 Jun 2023,


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Dr Rosie Nelson

Bristol University