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Chapter 14

CHAPTER 14 notes_ Marriage, Family, Kinship.docx

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Francois Larose

CHAPTER 14: MARRIAGE FAMILY KINSHIP KIN GROUPS THAT INCLUDE HUNDREDS OR EVEN THOUSANDS OF RELATED PEOPLE ARE FOUND IN MANY SOCIETIES ADN STRUCTURE ECONOMIC, SOCIAL-POLITICAL, AND RELIGION FUNCTIONS. IN NON-COMMERCIAL SOCIETIES, KIN GROUPS WERE PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF SOCIAL ORGANIZATION MARRIAGE -socially approved sexual and economic union - married couple does not have to hide the sexual nature of their relationship. George Peter Murdock: "Sexual relations can occur without ecconomic cooperation, and there can be a division of labor between men and woment without sex. But marriage unites the economic and the sexual." WHY IS MARRIAGE NEARLY UNIVERSAL? : we can only assume that the custom is adaptive. several interpretations have traditionally been offered... GENDER DIVISION OF LABOUR ● males and females in every society perform different economic activities. ● marriage a mechanism to share the product of differential labours ● this is clearly not the only possible solution so... PROLONGED INFANT DEPENDENCY ● humans have longest period of infant dependency of any primate. ● this dependence places greatest burden on mother. ● prolonged childcare by woman limits the types of work they can do. ● not clear why a group of women and men could not cooperate to take care of children without marriage SEXUAL COMPETITION ● unlike most other female primates, humans may engage in intercourse at any time ● this may have created considerable sexual competition amongst males for females ● it is argued that marriage prevented the competition from becoming ultimately destructive and lethal ● several problems with this: 1. continuous female sexuality may make competition less since the scarcity of mating women is decreased 2. males of any animal species don't show much aggression over (over as in 'compared to' or 'concerning'?) females. 3. if competition is a problem why couldn't it be regulated by other rules ie men and women circulate with each other? jealousy? love? OTHER MAMMELS & BIRDS: POSTPARTUM REQUIREMENTS - most species of birds and some mammals such as wolves and beavers have male-female bonding. - among 40 mammal and bird species, none of the three factors above predicts or is correlated with m/f bonding ONLY ONE PREDICTOR AMONG MAMMALS AND BIRDS FOR M/F BONDING: ANIMAL SPECIES IN WHICH FEMALES CAN SIMULTANEOUSLY FEED THEMSELVES AND THEIR BABIES AFTER BIRTH (POSTPARTUM) TEND NOT TO HAVE STABLE MATINGS; SPECIES IN WHICH POSTPARTUM MOTHERS CANNOT FEED THEMSELVES AND THEIR BABIES AT THE SAME TIME TEND TO HAVE STABLE MATINGS. - when humans lost most of their body hair, babiels could
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