Phenomenon of Unregistered Marriage in Teenagers in Indonesia: A Case Study of the Madurese Community in Situbondo


Unregistered marriage (‘sirri marriage’) is widespread in Indonesian society, and this social phenomenon can be considered a form of disharmony in society. Even though sirri marriages have a negative impact, especially for women and children, they are still commonly found in Indonesia, including in Situbondo Regency, East Java. This study used a phenomenological approach. The research subjects were fifteen teenage girls who were married by unregistered marriage in Situbondo Regency. The research was conducted through interviews and observations. The data were analyzed using qualitative techniques. The results demonstrated that unregistered marriage was interpreted as an effort to avoid sin, as certainty in a relationship, and as an economic solution. Unregistered marriages, with the perception of cultural and religious legitimacy, which are often early marriages, have implications for the development of the family. One of the consequences of an early marriage is that the young couple is still totally dependent on their parents. These early unregistered marriages force children to drop out of school and become underage workers. Unregistered marriages also lead to divorce, and divorce rates are soaring. Divorce occurs because the young couple is not ready to manage conflicts in the household due to immaturity.

Keywords: unregistered marriage, phenomenology, teenagers, economy

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