Canadian women's perspectives on marriage proposal

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Chinichian, Maryam
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University of Guelph

The objective of the current study was to explore how Canadian heterosexual women experience, feel about and interpret the phenomenon of marriage proposal. Findings are based on 18 individual interviews with third-generation Canadian women who experienced marriage proposal during the last five years. Phenomenology was the methodology of the study. Invariant components of marriage proposal included: the ring, getting down on one knee, gender of the proposer, proposing marriage using significant words, choosing a private place, and getting permission from the father or parents of the woman. Women indicated that their feelings about the proposal were happiness, joy and surprise. All participants directly or indirectly described the marriage proposal as a ritual. Women did not reject the traditional ritual of the marriage proposal, but instead, reconstructed it. Participants easily discussed their interest in the ritual of the marriage proposal with the researcher, an outsider to Canadian culture.

Canadian, heterosexual, women, marriage proposal, experience, perceptions, ritual