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Lecture

2013.03.04.docx

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Department
Anthropology
Course
AN341
Professor
Amali Philips
Semester
Winter

Description
March 4, 6, 8 Marriage Transfers Marriage Transfers: Explanations - Marriage involves some transfer of property; the moment of transfers - Continuity of descent group- acquiring wives requires payment as compensation from husbands (Bridewealth) and Alliance payment for affinity (dowry and bridewealth) - Property explanation (Jack Goody); diverging devolution to sons (inheritance), daughters (dowry) in stratified societies; gender equal or in many cases unequal endowments. o Dowry (cash) is given just at marriage to the daughter, inheritance (land) can be given whenever to the son  Land goes up in value, dowry never does. - Jural Explanation: transfer of rights over woman and future progeny (bridewealth) o you are buying the rights to her children, her sexuality and everything about her  if she gets divorced the husband gets the rights to everything - Cost-Benefit Calculation: type and direction of payment depends on which side benefits; bridewealth if grooms side benefits (brides family benefits because they get the bride as a labourer); dowry if wife’s side benefits (bride is considered an unproductive member of society because she does not work therefore you have to pay the grooms side because they will have to support the bride for the rest of their lives) Bridewealth - Subsistence: simple agriculture, classless, labour of women valued (African female farming system) - Direction: Grooms kin to brides kin (Africa), pars to bride (M/E); intergenerational, lineage or lateral - Timing: at marriage (prompt) or delayed (deferred) e.g. Middle-East; Type: cattle, other - Function: Payment for labour, children, sexual rights; nominal. Symbolic (prestige) or substantial payments; seals the contract (ME) - Use: Merged with brides family wealth; by male kin (brother) to obtain a wife - Security: women can make claims on kin-cattle-linked siblin
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