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ANTH100 Lecture Notes - Incest Taboo, Dowry, Cousin Marriage

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Jennifer Liu

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ANTH 102 Chapter 6: Kinship and Domestic Life FEB 1
What is kinship?
- A sense of being related. varies cross-culturally
What is a kinship system
3 ways of being kin
- Descent
birth into particular group, 2 major types
unilineal (through one parent)
partorilisam, horticulture, and agricultural modes of livelihood
basis of 60% of kinships
Minankabau of Indonesia, world’s largest matrilineal culture
descent from both parents
married couple live away from parents “neolocal residence”
inheritance is equal among all children regardless of gender
- Sharing
Adopting and fostering
Food sharing
- Marriage
Problem defining marriage since many varieties exist
Criteria’s for defining marriage: numbers of people involved, gender/sexual orientation
of people involved, function of the relationships intercourse, legitimacy of children,
shared property
Definition: marriage is more or less a stable union, usually between two people who
may/may not be co-residential, sexually involved with each other, and procreative with
each other
Rules for finding a marriage partner: preference rules: physical features, romantic love,
cousin marriage, religion, used to unite families/tribes
Exclusion rules: all cultures have some form of incest taboo, forbidding sexual
intercourse between certain kin
Most universal: mother-son, father-daughter
Getting married: involves series of gifts between bride’s and groom’s family
Major types of marriage exchanges
Dowry: goods/money given by bride’s family to married couple
Groomprice: goods/money given by bride’s family to married couple
and to the parents of the groom
Brideprice: goods/money given by the groom’s family to parents of
Bride-service: labor given by groom to parents of bride
Major types of marriage: monogamy & pologamy
Family vs household
Family: related by kinship
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