ANTHROPOLOGY LECTURE NOTES NOVEMBER 14
MARRIAGE & FAMILY
- key economic structure in most societies
- influences other aspects in the way people live.
marriage - in our society:
● legally bound
● you're expected to be sexually faithful
● interdependency. economically, resources are
shared. helping one another raise the children.
offer one another social support, emotional
support, psychologic support. reciprocity.
● look out for the other
● live together
● ceremony / wedding. either religious or civil. you
technically only need to sign the papers.
^even the above does not apply to everyone in OUR
culture. in some cultures there is no living together,
there is not always interdependency, no ceremony, no
*anthropologists have a hard time defining anything.
definitions end up being too complex or too simple to
ASPECTS OF MARRIAGE THAT ARE NEARLY UNIVERSAL
● *culturally defined relationship (usually) between
a man and a woman *from different families, which *regulates sexual intercourse and *provides for
- here we wear a ring on the anular finger of the left
- some cultures it is a tattoo, dress, hairstyle
- part of this is telling who is available
● a set of rights the coule and their familes obtain
over one another, including rights over the
● assignment of responsibility for enculturation to
the spouses or to one or both sets of their
relatives. *in some cultures, when children break
the rules, it is not the children who are punished
but the parents. most cultures have an
understanding that parents/relatives need to teach
children the rules of society.
● a division of labour in the domestic sphere
MARRIAGE RULES - WHO CAN/CANNOT BE MARRIED
- WHO YOU CAN/CANNOT BE MARRIED
- who can you not marry? in our society:
● some religious leaders
● mentally handicapped
- who can you marry or cannot marry? in our society:
● siblings, parents, grandparents. cousins are legal
but not normative.
● the incest taboo
● someone who is already married (polygamy)
● some places don't allow people to marry in the
● some religions don't marry outside their religion
ENDOGAMOUS MARRIAGES - marrying within the group
EXOGAMOUS MARRIAGES - marrying outside the group
*these terms mean nothing if we don not know what the
group we are talking about.
● religious endogamy might state you need to marry
in your religion but you may need to marry outside
your family which is lineage exogamy
● some cultures there is a caste endogamy.
HOW MANY SPOUSES CAN YOU HAVE? ● MONOGAMOUS marriages - one person at a time. two
different forms of mongamy:
1. SERIAL MONOGAMY you can be married many times in
your life but you can only be married to one person
at a time.
2. TRUE MONOGAMY (relatively rare, usually only for
women) once married you can never marry again, even