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ANT 111 Final: MARRIAGE, Hijras, Gender

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ANT 111

MARRIAGE AND STUFF Marriage = customs, rules, obligations that establish socially endorsed relationship between adults/children - Relatively stable union between M/F that involves responsibility for children, economic exchange - Leads to group cooperation -> expansion of social group in which people share resources A society without marriage: the Na of China Na do not practice marriage - Sese = joins M/W in sexual/reproductive partnerships o Na visit: Man stays night in lover’s home, return to own family in morning (always male goes to women) o Concealment is necessary: Na taboo forbids male members to see/hear sexual talk/activity of females - Relationships include love, respect, intimacy but NO responsibility for children, permanence, fidelity - No coercion; either may accept/decline Both M/W have multiple partners, no records are kept to ascertain paternity of children - Matrilineal - If no daughters, household may adopt/encourage son to bring lover in o No husbands, fathers Forms, functions, and rules of marriage US – heterosexual, monogamous marriage Some African societies - Woman-woman marriage – surrogate bears children Azande – man-man if shortage of women Incest taboos: rules that prohibit sexual relationships with specific categories of kin - Universal, differ per categories of kin/society o Bio theory: Prevents inbreeding (deleterious effects) o Psych theory: Innate aversion to siblings or sexual competition among siblings/parents creates disruptions o Alliance theory: force people to marry out of group, increase social bonds ▪ Lévi-Strauss – there’s adaptive value of cooperation among groups, larger than nuclear fam - Parent-child, siblings (except some) relationships are prohibited  suggests kinship as culturally constructed Exogamy: marry-out - Forge links between entire communities, allowing for military alliances, political federations, and inter- tribal networks of cooperation and exchange Endogamy: require people to marry WITHIN group - May be outside village, but within tribe/ethnic group - Keeps wealth, privileges within group - Castes, religious groups, social classes, racial groups o India used to have laws against intercaste marriage Preferential Marriage Many small-scale societies distinguish sharply between 2 kinds of cousins Cross-cousin marriage = preferred partner = children of parent’s siblings (mother’s brother, father’s sister) - Reinforces ties between kin groups Parallel-cousin marriage = children of parents’ same sex sibling (mother’s sister, father’s brother) - Helps prevent fragmentation of family property - Keeps economic resources within fam - Reinforces solidarity of brothers, but also socially isolates brothers from each other (increases fractional disputes) Levirate vs. Sororate | rules that allow marriage to survive death of partners, continued alliance between GROUPS (emphasizes marriage as a group thing) - Levirate = man marries widow of deceased brother o Enables children to remain within dead husband’s descent group - Sororate = wife dies, man marries her sister Monogamy Only one spouse at any given time Polygamy Plural marriage Increases man’s wealth, social position, alliances Polygyny - Chiefs, leaders take many wives from diff. groups to increase 1 man, several women political power Increases family’s labor supply, productivity
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