Chapter 9 Marriage, Family and Kinship
Class Exercise & Discussion • What is family? • What is marriage? • What are your personal ideals and ideas of marriage? • comment on who should be partnered • how partners should meet (i.e., autonomous versus arranged marriage) • where they should live after marriage • what qualities your partner should have. • For most North Americans, the ideal match is a “love” marriage. But to what extent are people constrained by their families, friends, and social norms in their choice of a spouse? • How do North American parents try to ensure that their children marry the “right” person? Think carefully. How do North American parents directly and indirectly encourage endogamy (marriage within one’s social, economic, ethnic, or cultural group)?
The “New” Family- Donor 150 Jeffrey Harrison (Donor 150) with JoEllen
Marriage, Family, and Kinship • Humans live in groups • Creation of relatives- kinship • Effective strategy to form • Stable • Reliable • Separate • Deeply connected group/s • To last over time and through generations
Kinship Definition • Culturally defined relationship established on the basis of blood ties or through marriage.
Kinship Terms • Consanguinal- (sang=blood)- relations through blood • Parents and child, siblings, grandparents • Affinal- relations through marriage • In-laws • Fictive/Putative- relations through neither blood nor marriage • “Brother by another mother” • Adoption • Godchild
Examples • Write an example of fictive/putative, affinal, consanguinal kin in your life.
Family • Nuclear- is organized around the conjugal tie, the relationship between husband and wife (and their children). • Joint or extended- is based on consanguineal, or blood, relations extending over three or more generations.
Nuclear Family • Parents and their children • Advantages: Mobility • Flexibility • Personal space and privacy • Economic resources are one’s own
Nuclear Family • Disadvantages: No immediate care for older and younger family members • No security in times of crisis
Extended Family • Blood relations extending over three or more generations • Advantages: Keeps land intact • Provides security in times of crisis • Provides care for the older family members • Provides care for younger family members
Extended Family • Disadvantages: Personalities • Conflict • Mismanagement
Types of Extended Families • A matrilineal family is organized around a woman, her daughters and the daughters’ husbands and children. Iroquois longhouse • A patrilineal extended family is organized around a man, his sons, and the sons’ wives and children. Osama Bin Laden’s Family
Marriage • Customs, rules, and obligations for relationships between: • Sexually cohabiting adults • Parents and children • Families of the bride and groom
A Society without Marriage: The Na of China • Marriage is not a universal institution. • The Na do not practice marriage, or even have a word for it. • In the idealized Na partnership, men pass nights in a lover’s household and return to their families in the morning. • All sexual activity takes place during this concealed visit.
A Society without Marriage: The Na of China • Concealment is necessary because of a Na taboo. • Both women and men have multiple partners, no records are kept to determine paternity and the Na have no word for incest, illegitimate child, infidelity, or promiscuity.
Functions of Marriage 1) Regulates sexual access • Limits sexual competition • Provides stability for children • Allows for stable economic exchange 2) Provides a relatively stable structure: • The male can provide food and protection. • The female can nurse and nurture the children.
Functions of Marriage (contd.) • 3) Expands social group • Links different families and kin groups. • Leads to cooperation beyond the • primary husband-wife pair. • Allows people to share resources. • Benefits the survival of the species.
Marriage • Dominant marriage type in the United States • Heterosexual • Monogamous • Other types of marriage fulfill the same functions.
Arranged Marriage • Arranged Marriage • In some societies, marriage is important because it links kin groups of the married couple. • This accounts for the practice of arranged marriages.
Arranged Marriage in North America • Matched by Mom- NPR • The Bachelor/Bachelorette
Marriage Rules • Every society has culturally defined rules concerning sexual relations and marriage. • Marriage rules may: • Who to marry • Determine how many people one can marry • Allow for ending marriages • Dictate the rituals that legitimate marriage • Determine the rights established by marriage
Incest Taboo • Prohibits certain individuals from having sex with each other • The most widespread taboo is mating between primary family members. • Incest taboos effectively prohibit marriage among certain kin.
Reasons for Incest Taboo • Avoids inbreeding (Inbreeding theory) • Prevents disruption in the nuclear family (Family Disruption theory) • Directs sexual desires outside the family (Natural Aversion theory) • Forces people to marry outside the family and create a larger social community (Theory of Expanding Social Alliances)
Endogamy • Rules that marriage must be within a particular group • In India, each caste is an endogamous group. • In the U.S., social classes tend to be endogamous.
Exogamy • Rules specifying that a person must marry outside a particular group. • Almost universal within the primary family group. • Leads to alliances between different families and groups.
Preferential Marriage Rules • Rules about the preferred categories of relatives for marriage partners • Cross cousins: • The children of a parent’s siblings of the opposite sex • Parallel cousins: • The children of a parent’s same-sex siblings
Preferential Marriage Rules • Levirate: A man marries the widow of his deceased brother. • Sororate: When a man’s wife dies, her sister is given to him as a wife.
Number of Spouses • All societies have rules about how many spouses a person can have at one time. • Monogamy is the norm only in Europe and North America. • Why is it the norm?
Polygamy • A rule allowing more than one spouse • Polygyny: • A rule permitting a man to have more than one wife at a time • Found in ancient texts including the bible • Advantages and Disadvantages • One husband, chosen by multiple wives • ABC News, 2013 • http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/video/modern-polygamy-husband-chosen-multiple-wives-19326623
Polyandry • Polyandry: • A rule permitting a woman to have more than one husband at a time • Also found in ancient texts- one woman with five husbands (Mahabharata) • Advantages and Disadvantages
Polyandry • Multiple Husbands National Geographic
Exchange of Goods in Marriage • Three kinds of exchanges made in connection with marriage: • Bride service • Bridewealth • Dowry
Bride Service • The husband must work for a specified period of time for his wife’s family in exchange for his marital rights. • Occurs mainly in foraging societies, where accumulating material goods for an exchange at marriage is difficult • Among the Ju/’hoansi a man may work for his wife’s family until the birth of the third child.
Bridewealth • The most common form of marriage exchange • Cash or goods are given by the groom’s kin to the bride’s kin to seal a marriage. • Legitimates the new reproductive and socioeconomic unit created by the marriage • Bridewealth paid at marriage is returned if a marriage is terminated.
Dowry • A presentation of goods by the bride’s kin to the groom’s family • Less common than other forms of exchange at marriage • Dowry has different meanings and functions in different societies. • a woman’s share of her family inheritance. • a payment transferred from the bride’s family to the groom’s family. • Dowry Deaths
Wedding Ceremony Each cultural group celebrates marriage in a unique way. How does a wedding ceremony/rituals reflect: • the type of family that the couple will establish? • tell you about the culture as a whole? Consider what you know and what you’ve heard as well as seen in the media about weddings and wedding rituals.
Rules of Residence • Neolocal Residence: Couple -> new residence • Patrilocal residence: Woman-> Husband’s family • Matrilocal residence: Man-> Wife’s family
Rules of Residence • Avunculocal residence: Couple-> husband’s mother’s brother. • Bilocal residence: Couple-> Choice between wife’s or husband’s family.
Family • In the United States, the definition of the family is changing to accommodate: • High divorce rates • Same-sex partnerships • Working mothers and single-parent households • Unmarried couples living together • Childless couples • People who never marry • People who remarry
Descent • Affiliations between children and parents • Types of Descent Groups • Unilineal • Patrilineal • Matrilineal
Kinship Diagram of Patrilineal Descent • Sons and daughters belong to their father’s descent group (shown in dark green), as do the children of sons — but not of daughters.
Kinship Diagram of Matrilineal Descent • Sons and daughters are members of their mother’s descent group (shown in dark green), as are the children of daughters — but not of sons.
Double Descent • Tracing descent through both matrilineal and patrilineal links. • Bilateral: both maternal and paternal lines are used to trace descent • Ambilineal: You get to choose which side you want to trace your descent through