Anthropology 1025F/G Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Exogamy, Dowry, Acculturation
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Anthropology 1025 F: Kinship
Lecture # 6
October 6th, 2014
Kinship: Why do anthropologists care?
•Humans will live in social groups. Kinship is the creation of social group, it's an effective way
to make connected groups through time and history.
•Who is related to whom?
•It is an intimate and a boarder set of relationships. It connects us to people far away.
•Family after a certain age no longer, influence our main decisions such as where we live.
•In many society, it is multiple purpose. There is a lot of variety in kins in the non-western
•Kin group: a group of related people who share common interests and a sense of common
identity and who cooperate in certain kinds of activities
•Domestic group: people who live together in a single household
•Consanguine (consanguineal relative): related by birth
•Affine (affinal relative): related by marriage
•Family of orientation: family into which a person [ego] is born
•Family of procreation: family that ego forms through his or her marriage
•Ways we form kin groups: marriage, descent, love, choice
•Marriage and descent are the main way people form kin group.
Common cross-cultural definition of marriage:
•A culturally defined special relationship between a socially-recognized man and a socially-
recognized woman from different families, which regulates the sexual intercourse and provides
for reproduction [in our society: what about gay marriage?];
•A set of rights the couple and their families obtain over each other, including rights over the
•An assignment of responsibility for enculturation to the spouses or to one or both sets of their
•A division of labor in the domestic group.
The major functions and social benefits of marriage:
•A reduction (but not elimination) of conflict over sexual access;
•A formation of social bonds that provide for the material needs, social support, and
acculturation of children;
•An establishment of relations between intermarrying families or other kinds of kin groups;
•A provision for the exchange of domestic services; and
•The formation of new families of procreation in a population.
Human traits that make it useful for some kind of relationship to fulfil these functions:
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