Marriage and Marriage Exchanges
- The first natural bond of human society; the fist step in the organization of
- A law of nature for procreation, protection from sexual sin
- Marriage had three goods
o Fidelity (between husband and wife), children, sacrament source of
private goods (love, companionship) and public goods (for rulers,
society, citizens (Augustine)
o Children bring parents joy and contentment, but then parents also
take care of the children.
Marriage and Gender
- Frederic Engels in The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State
o Private property along with monogamy and the state led to the
universal subordination of women
- The idea of monogamy was important because when the man could control
the women it ensure that the property passed on to their children so no
random person could take of their property.
o Control over women meant that they knew their children were theirs
o Monogamy was not good for the state because womens rights were
then control. They no longer had the freedom to do whatever etc.
- John Stuart Mill in The Subjection of Women
o Marriage can be good and not harmful if it is based on equality and
justice, but often is not
o Historically marriage has never been good on women because it has
never been based on justice and equality.
o He also believe that no women would opt to get married because they
were force into it because what woman would want to go into a union
where it is not equal and just.
Marriage and Kinship
- Marriage is what kinship is all about (Lois Dumont)
- Organizing principle of society (descent and alliance theories)
- ‘A necessary evil’ in contrast to the son of a bit bonds you can never break’
o The husband and wife in the Bedouin community do not publically
display their relationship
- Regulation of sexuality.
Marriage and Reproduction
- Kinship is everywhere a part of the social and cultural management of
preproduction (Andrew Strathern) - Legitimizing offspring and defining social placement
- Legitimacy of children, kind placement, child rearing.
- Social reproduction: protects and maintains social boundaries, purity of lines
- Means of social mobility.
o Marry about your status, marry above your case and wealth.
Kinship. Marriage and Property
- Wealth transfers (bridewealth, dowry) rights, privileges of conjugality
- Occasion for such transfers; women as ‘property’, ‘women and property’-
means of transfers
- Compulsory nature of marriage of women related to lack of economic options
o Allows to trade between people.
- Stimulated trade and exchange between groups
- Marriage and politics
o Peace functions.
Control of Marriage (European)
- 1557 French law required parental consent for females until age 25 and
males until age 30
- Laws of coverture subsumed a wife’s legal existence and property unde