2.10.14.docx

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Department
Anthropology
Course
ANTHRO 4300
Professor
Shenk
Semester
Fall

Description
Comparative Social Org 02/10/2014 Marriage  A usually formal relationship between a (usually) sexually active couple (almost always) sanctioned by  customs, rules, and obligations Usually also entails formal relationships between: Parents and children Spouses and in­laws  Families of the bride and groom  Virtually universal human custom Important set of rules, customs, and norms regulate: Who can marry whom What form marriage takes  Functions of Marriage  Regulates sexual activity  Limits sexual competition  Provides legitimacy and defines social relationships for children Forms basis of cooperative economic unit (household) based on sexual division of labor Forges, expands, or reinforces social connections between individuals and families  Marriage Rules Virtually all human societies have rules about whom one can, can not, should, and/or should not marry  Usually focused on culturally salient social categories like kinship, lineage, clan, class, caste, or gender  Most cultures have both exogamy and endogamy  Rules are highly variable, but patterned across cultures  Very small scale societies tend to have complex rules of kin exogamy  Tribal societies tend to emphasize clan exogamy  Large­scale complex societies with heritable wealth tend to emphasize rules or norms of endogamy  Prescriptive marriage may be practiced in any of these  Alliance Theory  Claude Levi­Strauss  Defined the “atom of kinship” as a nuclear family plus the wife’s brother Saw it as a key to the alliance structures and thus social organization of many societies  Organized cultures into two main types of kinship structures  Elementary struc
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