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Chapter 4

Cultural Anthropology Chapter 4.doc

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Maggie Cummings

Cultural Anthropology Chapter 4: Patterns of Family Relating - Tv shows, related to family, to “understand themselves” - Kinship relates to social organization in small-scale and large-scale societies  cultural system, not biological facts - Different levels of social, cultural, and technological complexity  Ju/’hoanis = gatherers/hunters living in small mobile groups  Trobrian Islanders = horticulturists living in villages (up to 400 people); expert in the science of cultivating plants  Rural Chinese = large agricultural society (farming) - Family structure and roles are important - Ethnographic present: use of the present tense to describe a culture, although the description may refer to situations that existed in the past North American Families - Bilateral kinship: a system in which individuals trace their descent through both parents o make no distinction b/w mother’s and father’s siblings (linguistically) and all their children are cousins o as opposed to matrilineal kinship: a system of descent in which persons are related through their kin through the mother only o similarly, patrilineal kinship is a system of descent in which persons are related through their kin through the father only - Nuclear family: father, mother, and biological or adopted children - Incest taboo: a rule that prohibits sexual relations among certain categories of kin, such as brothers or sisters, parents and children, or in some cases, cousins Ju/’hoansi Families - Groups of 10-30 or 40 people (bilaterally related) - Hunt and gather around a waterhole - Usually brother/sister pair claim a waterhole - Mobile, move based on hunting alliances - Children spend time with mothers - Key relationship is between husband and wife o Brideservice: requirement that when a couple marries, the groom must work for the bride’s parents for some specified period of time (as long as 10 years) - They have little privacy - Usually men have sex by 15 & marry at 18-25 years old - Marriage for men:  Adult worthy of taking part in public life  Gains a sex partner  Mate provides him food - Men share meat (hunted) w/ whole camp - Women do not have to share outside nuclear family - Women marry @ 12-14 years old (before first period); arranged marriages - 30-40 names for newborns; same name as someone else? Automatically related. - Do not marry if two people have the same name, or if either of their parent’s have the same name - Can protest against marriage - ‘honeymoon’ = source of continuing conflict o Ex: Nisa objected to sleep w/ Bo (newly weds), so relative (Nukha) slept in b/w them; turns out Nukha was having sex w/ Bo……………… o Half of 1 marriages fail - Sex, love and beauty are important…wealth, not so much - Enjoy sex to develop normally and be happy - Woman’s sexuality maximizes her independence - Most conflicts are b/w husband and wife  Man’s unfaithfulness  Husband wanting to get a 2 ndwife  Polygamy: a form of marriage in which a person is permitted to have more than 1 spouse  Polygyny: a form of marriage in which a man is permitted to have more than 1 wife o Rarely have polyandry (a form of marriage in which a woman is permitted to have more than one husband)  Polygamy/polygyny adds variety and economic insurance Trobriand Islander Families - 80 villages (40-400 people) divided into hamlets - Matrilineage: a lineage that is formed tracing descent in the female line (dala)  Men related to each other through the female line - Person dies, soul/spirit becomes young & lives on Tuma (an island); baloma (spirit child) enters the womb of a woman of the same matrilineage (through water, important factor) - Conception only permitted by:  The woman herself  The spirit or baloma of a deceased ancestor  The woman’s older brother - Deny men’s role in conception - Key relationship is b/w brother and sister - Father of the family = outsider - Father more interested in his sister’s kids - Dala > nuclear family - Extended family: a group based on blood relations or 3 or more generations - All women of the same matrilineage = ina - All men of the same matrilineage = luta - Participate in erotic games @ 7/8 years old, sex partners @ age 11-13 -
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