Chapter 9 Marriage, Family and Domestic Groups
Chapter Questions • What are some of the universal functions of marriage and the family? • What are some of the rules that regulate marriage in different societies? • How can these rules be explained? • How do arranged marriage and romantic love relate to the values of marriage and family in different societies? • What kinds of changes are taking place in the family in the United States? • How does a society’s subsistence strategy influence the shape of the family and the household?
Functions of Marriage • Regulates sexual access. • Creates a family. • Expands social group.
Marriage Customs, rules, and obligations for relationships between: • A sexually cohabiting man and woman • Parents and children • Families of the bride and groom
Regulate Sexual Access Reasons: • Limits sexual competition. • Provides stability for children. • Allows for stable economic exchange.
Incest Taboos • Prohibit sexual relations between relatives. • Universal to most cultures. • Exceptions : • Brother-sister marriages among royalty in ancient Egypt • Traditional Hawaiian society
Reasons for Incest Taboo • Avoids inbreeding. • Prevents disruption in the nuclear family. • Directs sexual desires outside the family. • Forces people to marry outside the family and create a larger social community.
Family Structure Marriage provides a stable structure: • Provide food and protection. • Nurse and nurture the children.
Expands Social Groups • 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.
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.
Endogamy • Rules that marriage must be within a particular group. • In India, the caste is an endogamous group. • In the U.S., social classes tend to be endogamous.
Preferential Marriage Rules • Rules about the preferred categories of relatives for marriage partners: • Levirate • Sororate
Number of Spouses • Rules of # of spouses at one time. • Monogamy-Europe and North America. • Polygamy-75% world’s societies. • Polygyny • Polyandry
Primary Marriage Rights • Sexual access. • Obligations to care for children born to the union. • Rights of economic services of the other. • Bride Wealth • Bride Service • Dowry • Divorce
Young woman from Mursi village from Southern Ethiopia Mursi are largerly known for their custom of inserting a large balsawood or terracotta disk in the lower or upper lip. It is a sign of tribal identity and ornamentation but more importantly it is a useful means of indicating the size of the dowry paid.
Nuclear Family • A husband, a wife, and their children. • Effects of high divorce & remarriage rates.
Composite Family • Aggregates of nuclear families linked by a common spouse. • Example: Polygynous household consisting of one man with several wives.
Extended Family • Blood relations extending over three or more generations. • Economic advantages: • keeps land intact • provides security in times of crisis. • Provides a sense of participation and dignity for the older family members.
Class Discussion Activity • Describe the following forms of marriage and give their characteristics: • Polygyny • Polyandry • Serial Monogamy • Using Cultural Relativism describe the universal of marriage cross-culturally. • Reasons, functions, family structure, social relations, roles, global pressures (cost of globalization). • Describe what are some of the issues surrounding Gay Marriages (pro/con arguments of the debate). • What do you think? Should Gay people be allowed to marry? What about having or adopting children? Why or why not?