Why Monogamous Marriages?
- associated with wage labour
● both men and women can work
● taxes and social safety net
● benefit of having multiple spouses is not really
● usually the only form of marriage allowed (usually
a part of religious belief or the law)
- associated with balanced sex ratio
- in societies with monogamy, there are no obvious
benefits to having multiple spouses.
● more than one spouse means more money but more
money means more taxes
● doesn't mean there would be no benefit at all but
the benefits are a lot less obvious or given
ECONOMIC TRANSACTIONS that will occur between the
familes that get married.
2. BRIDE PRICE
4. GIFT EXCHANGE
*the loss of a worker and future generations of workers needs to be compensated for.
- in exchange for the loss of the daughter, the future
husband will provide a service for the bride's family.
● in societies where there is little material goods
(like foragers) so instead of material payment, so
the groom works for the bride's family for a
certain ammount of time.
● groom does what men normally do. among foragers
they go and hunt, build, etc.
● it is like a trial marriage. if the man is not
good at anything, they can call it off. the man has
the same vantage point on the woman. if she is a
bad worker as well, he can break it off and go back
to his own village.
● this is the most common form of marital exchange
among foragers or any society with very limited
material goods (some horticulturalists and
BRIDEPRICE / BRIDE WEALTH
- in exchange for a spouse, the future husband and his
family will compensate the bride's family with material
● the price is negotiated between the two families
● among pastoralists, it is usually in livestock
● if the bride's family is wealthier, they want a higher brideprice. the higher price confirms to
them that the family she is going to is also very
● if you have only one daughter as opposed to five,
you might want some more money since it costs money
to marry off each of your sons.
● very common among horticulturalists and
pastoralists and food producers in general.
^those two are to compensate the woman's family for the
loss of the woman
- the bride will receive part of her inheritance from
her family in advance to contribute to her new family
with her new husband
● dowry can exist on its own or alongside the
● daughters with bigger dowries get more potential
suitors (and parents might get a brideprice in
return for this dowry)
● if you can't give your daughters a large dowrie,
that becomes part of the marriage deal so they
aren't as wanted and the daughter may become a
drain on their family, staying with their family
forever because they are never sought after for
● poor parents may invest all their money in just
one daughter's dowry to at least get rid of one of
them and maybe make an alliance with a good family.
people go bankrupt over this stuff. ● in a society with only the dowry system, do you
want to have lots of daughters?
● in societies where you only have brideprice, you
want daughters. in dowry systems, daughters can
● common amongst food producers.
- one form of gift exchange involves friends and
relatives giving gifts to the bride and groom.
● expectation that when couple gets married they
will live on their own so we help them start their
● this is commonly practiced here.
- another form is the exchange of gifts between the
families of the bride and gro