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ANTH 1150

Marriage and Domestic Organization (H&J Ch 8, S&M Ch 19) 16/02/2012 5:03:00 PM o Key Terms Nuclear family Extended family Matrifocal household domestic group comprising one or more adult women and their children, but husbands/fathers are not permanent residents Monogamy one spouse at a time Polygamy marriage to more than one spouse at a time o Polygyny several wives share a husband o Polyandry several husbands share a wife Bride service groom moves in with brides family and works for them in exchange for brides rights Bridewealth transfer of valued goods to family of groom to family of bride when a couple marries Dowry transfer of goods/money from brides family to grooms Sororate a man marries his deceased wifes sister Leverite a woman marries her deceased husbands brother Exogamy forbids an indiv from taking a spouse from within the local group of which they are members Endogamy requires a person to marry within their own group General Questions: o What is family? o What is the household? o What is marriage? o How many spouses should one person have? o Who should pay for their spouse? o Are all incest taboos based only on biology? General Notes o Western standard conventional family = nuclear family Variations: sex of parents, one parent, biological relationship Most societies center around extended families Ex: Matrifocal family o *Household = domestic group where members live together and cooperate on a daily basis and share the proceeds of labour and other resources, typically kin ^a bit idealized, class specific Also site for cooperative conflict (esp money) o Marriage = an institution that transforms the status of two or more individuals in terms of sexual access and parenthood Assures social status of children, legitimizes reproduction, etc Marriage = license parenthood vs. Marriage = relationship established between a woman and one or more person, assures a child born to the woman is accorded full birth rights common to members of that society, as long as that child is conceived under sanctioned circumstances *Not all marriages are about sexual access Nayar people are matrilineal o Matrilocality live with mother and her family o Can make more marriages side husband in a dif caste (Brahman) o Paternity established by covering expenses for birth, gives gifts to the mother Igbo people in Nigeria o Wealth exists in form of wives, land, children o Igba-Ohu = woman-woman marriage, gain wealth o Marriage with different amts of spouses Western: monogamy (serial monogamy change partners constantly) Most of the world: Polygamy -> polygyny and polyandry 80% is polygyny (*only man of high rank can afford this) o more common in pastoral communities, bc woman are active workers on land and in markets o Younger cowives are subordinate to first wife o *jealousy? not socialized to compete, solidarity Polyandry India, Nepal, Tibet o Tends to be fraternal polyandry brothers share a wife Cope with land shortage, reduce population growth, enable mixed subsistence patterns (herding, farming, corve labour) o Arranged Marriages Bride Service done to compensate the brides family for the loss of a daughter Actually enables girls parents to evaluate the young mans performance (providing) Common in societies that dont accumulate a lot of material wealth (less to trade) For Ju/hoansi divorce is easy, less about sexual access, more about partnership Leverite sometimes hard and fast rule, sometimes just practiced Security for spouse, keeps woman from being outcast Bridewealth (brideprice) occurs with abundance of land Common when labour of woman and children contributes to well being of group (makes up for loss in her family) o Establishes alliance btwn two families o NOT purchasing wife bride can be taken back o Often in form of cattle *Determines lineage not about bio, about bridewealth Interconnections whole community has a stake in the relationship (less private) o *Brother invested in sisters marriage so he can use her bridewealth to get a good wife Introduction of cash econ disrupted a bit! Dowry opposite direction from bridewealth More common when women contribute less to a familys subsistence o Families dont want more children o Less common than bridewealth o Incest taboo Westermarck persons raised together will form a natural aversion to sexual relations (most sibs raised together) Supported by lack of marriage within kibbutz in Israel Freud - Humans unconsciously wish to commit incest, this desire was repressed triggered by guilt Primitive humans lives in promiscuous primal hordes dominated by father Sons killed father to get sexual access to women Out of guilt, sons created a taboo against sex with mothers and sisters *focus on father-child incest Rules of exogamy/endogamy group can be defined many ways Exogamy tends to be in stratified communities Alliance Theory (Levi-Strauss) Incest taboos are necessary for the formation of society Enables exchange relations (and thus social devel to occur) Women exchanged by men Feminists: women are not passive objects in the exchange Descent Theory (Radcliffe-Brown) Focus on descent Nuclear families are essential to social org, universal Anthro question the universality of nuclear family arrangements (diversity among cultures about what counts) Descent also forms lineages corporate entities important to politics and economics
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