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Chapter 14

ANTHR101 Chapter Notes - Chapter 14: George Murdock, Bride Price, Social Stratification


Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANTHR101
Professor
Francois Larose
Chapter
14

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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...

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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
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