SOC 3391 Lecture Notes - Economic Security, Incest Taboo

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Published on 3 Feb 2013
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Regulation of sex activity:
-every culture does this
-in the interest if maintaining kinship organization w/ extended family
-marriage is encouraged
-the fundamental unit of any kinship network is the family
-the transmission of property is part of the family
-the incest taboo:
-some variation in this cross culturally
-some break it under some special circumstances
Matrilineal Navajo:
-aboringinal people, first nations people in America
-located in Arizona and New Mexico
-culture that traces descent through mother’s line (not father’s)
-say that sexual relations w/ any of the mother’s relatives are forbidden
-Canada has a bilateral system
-we trace descent through both mother and father
-Patralineal=trace descent through the father
-bilateraltaboo on both sides but more on close family like aunts, uncles, grandparents, siblings
Inca:
-violate incest taboo
-in Mexico
-when Europeans (Spanish) arrived they destroyed society
-therefore, permitted brother/sister marriages
-in leading family to keep royal family pure
Hawaii:
-nobiltybrother/sister marriage permitted
-keep royal lineage
Ancient Egypt:
- same thing
-permitted in the royal family
Why regulation? probably both nature and nurture involved
Naturethe incest taboo rules out the possibility of recessive genes becoming too frequent
-the recessive gene: transmits and undesirable trait
-in order to be expressed both man and woman need it
-therefore more likely to get it when marry a close relative
Hybrid Vigour: people that marry people (unrelated)
-children tend to be more healthy
Nurtureprohibition minimizes sexual competition in the family
-defines kinship rights and obligations
-prevents family from collapsing into chaos (social reason)
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