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2003

Marriage

Michigan Law Review

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For And Against Marriage: A Revision, Anita Bernstein Nov 2003

For And Against Marriage: A Revision, Anita Bernstein

Michigan Law Review

When anthropologist Henry Sumner Maine issued his famous proclamation that modern legal development evolved "from Status to Contract," he used juridical categories to make a statement about progress. Voluntary relations now build the law, Maine declared. The alternative to voluntary relations - identity-based legal labels to decree what people may and may not do - must relocate to the dustbin of history. Only a backwater society would keep them. American legal change in the century-plus since Maine's death in 1888 gives credence to the claim that status inexorably yields to contract. At one level, newer developments refute the Maine thesis. "Stalkers ...