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Social Organization. Marriage, Family, Kinship. Marriage rules of sexual access form of exchange – establishes alliances accords a child full birth-status rights common to normal members of his society or social stratum.

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Social Organization

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Social organization l.jpg

Social Organization


Marriage family kinship l.jpg

Marriage, Family, Kinship

  • Marriage

    • rules of sexual access

    • form of exchange – establishes alliances

    • accords a child full birth-status rights common to normal members of his society or social stratum.

  • family -- smallest, organized unit of kin and non-kin who interact daily, providing for the domestic needs of children and ensuring their survival

  • descent group -- who one is related to beyond marriage

  • Alliance -- relations between descent groups


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Forms of Marriage

  • Monogamy = marriage between two partners

  • Polygamy = plural marriage = an individual has more than one spouse

    • Polygyny = one man many wives

    • Polyandry = one woman many husbands

  • No marriage

  • Serial monogamy = preferred practice in the West?


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Other Forms of Marriage

  • Same Sex Marriages

    • A Nuer woman who is unable to have children is sometimes married as a "husband" to another woman who then is impregnated by a secret boyfriend. 

    • The barren woman becomes the socially recognized father and thereby adds members to her father's patrilineal kin group


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Other Forms of marriage: Ghost Marriage

  • A Nuer man may marry a woman as a stand-in for his deceased brother

    • the children that are born of this union will be considered descendents of the dead man -- the "ghost" is the socially recognized father

    • allows the continuation of the family line and succession to an important social position

  • A Nuer woman of wealth may marry a deceased man to keep her wealth and power

    • there will be no living husband, though she may subsequently have children

    • She is, in effect, a widow who takes care of her husband's wealth and children until they are mature


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Forms of Marriage

  • Levirate & sororate

    • Levirate = a widow marries dead husband’s brother

    • Sororate = a widower marries dead wife’s sister

  • Keeps inheritance within the same group


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Levi-Strauss on Marriage as Exchange

  • Levi-Strauss: "It's not the man that marries the maid, but field marries field, vineyard marries vineyard, cattle marries cattle”

  • a set of rights the couple & their families obtain over one another, including rights to the couple's children


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Marriage and wealth exchange

  • Bridewealth

    • payment to wife and/or wife’s family

    • pays for loss of daughter

  • Dowry

    • payment to husband and/or husband family

    • correlated to low women gender status

    • pays for adding women to descent group


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MARRIAGE EXCHANGES

  • marriage means alliances

  • people don't just take a spouse they assume obligations to a group of in-laws

  • often more a relationship between groups than one between individuals-marriage involves


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are people buying their wives? Or how is a wife like a T.V.?

  • the price is negotiated & rights are not given to the husband until the deal is done

    • if the woman proves barren or troublesome the goods are often refunded

    • women have voice in the transactions

    • women also has rights of her own in the marriage relationship (commodities don't)

  • the woman & her kinfolk can also end the marriage if husband does not meet obligations


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buying & selling of commodities is a one time event

  • bridewealth establishes an enduring bundle of reciprocal rights & obligations between relatives of the couple that will last as long as the marriage lasts


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Levi-Strauss and women as objects of exchange

  • marriage systems - a form of exchange - "that as soon as I am forbidden a woman, she thereby becomes available to another man, and somewhere else a man renounces a woman who thereby becomes available to me." (Levi-Strauss:51)

    • wife givers & wife takers

  • nevertheless, as exchange marriage implies reciprocity = obligations assumed in creation & maintenance of alliances


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Marriage and the Family

  • Variation in forms of marriage related to variations in forms of family

  • Nuclear family = parents and children

  • Extended family = 3 or more generations

  • Joint family or collateral household = siblings, their spouses and children

  • Forms of family change over time, over life cycle


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Forms of Family & Subsistence

  • Forager band = group of nuclear families

  • Industrial economy = also nuclear family

    • Neither foragers nor industrial societies tied to the land

    • Emphasis on mobility, small-size, self-sufficiency

  • Cultivators and Horticulturalists = extended, joint, collateral households

    • Extended family associated with sedentary cultivation, herding & private property

    • Keeps property in family

    • Provides needed labor


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Family in Canada, Europe, US

  • A unit bounded biologically & legally

  • Associated with property

  • Economic self sufficiency

  • Associated with emotional life

  • Associated with a space inside a home

    • Emerges in complex state-governed societies

  • Keep neighbors out compared to others that add children & neighbors as kin


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The Modern Euro-North American Family

  • Family = nurturance, biofunction, love & affection, cooperation, enduring relationships, unconditional

  • Market = sale of labour, negotiate contractual relations of business, competitive, temporary, contingent relations, law & legal sanctions

  • family as last refuge against the state (domestic issues & police)

  • family and litigation today - family becoming contract


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Post-Marital Residence Patterns

  • Patrilocal

  • Matrilocal

  • Bi-local

  • Neolocal

  • Avunculocal – living with mother’s brother or father’s sister

  • Virilocal – living with husband’s relatives (patrilineal descent)

  • Uxorilocal – living with wife’s relatives (matrilineal descent)


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Post-Marital Residence Patterns

  • 70% of all societies patrilocal

  • Matrifocal households – women headed households with no permanently resident husband-father

  • Patrifocal – 3 men and a baby?

  • Post-marital residence patterns change during life cycle of marriage, over time


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KINSHIP STUDIES


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SUFFIXES

  • Lineal – line of descent

  • Local – place of residence

  • Lateral – of or relating to the side

  • Archy – government


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KIN TYPES

  • Consanguineals

  • Affinals

  • fictive kin

  • Lineals

  • Collaterals


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DESCENT TERMS

  • Bilateral

  • Unilineal

  • Matrilineal

  • Patrilineal

  • Cognatic


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Endogamous Groups & Marriage Partners


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Kinship & Descent

  • For some societies kinship & descent lines are the main way people organize themselves

  • Kinship societies

    • The relationships established within the biological group and outside the biological group are coded in kin terms


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Kinship Patterns

  • Relations of descent (endogamy)

    • Consanguineal relationships (sanguine = red)

      • Relations of blood

  • Relations of alliance (exogamy)

    • Affinal relationships (affinity)

    • Through marriage (in-laws)


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kinship and descent

  • kinship as an idiom

    • a way of expressing social relations and the exchanges, rights, and obligations implied

  • selective

    • each system emphasizes different relations

  • kinship principles define social groups

    • produces forms of social stratification

  • locate people within those groups

  • position people and groups in relation to one another both in space and time


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kin terms

  • sometimes mark specific relationships, sometimes lump together several genealogical relations

  • lineal relatives/consanguines - ancestor, descendent on direct line of descent to or from ego

  • collateral kin - all other biological kin, siblings, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles

  • affines - relatives by marriage


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Relationships are traced through a central individual labelled EGO.


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kinship diagram


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UNILINEAL DESCENT (unilateral)

  • descent group membership figured exclusively through female or male side

  • matrilineal descent

  • patrilineal descent


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Matrilineal and Patrilineal Kin

  • Patrilineal , or agnatic, relatives are identified by tracing descent exclusively through males from a founding male ancestor.

  • Matrilineal , or uterine, relatives are identified by tracing descent exclusively through females from a founding female ancestor.


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Patrilineage -- male ego


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Patrilineage – female ego


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cross relatives

  • kin on each side, who are neither patrilineal or matrilineal

  • cross cousins are of particular importance, especially for some marriage systems

  • Cross cousins can be identified as the children of opposite sexed siblings (of a brother and sister) and parallel cousins as the children of same sexed siblings (of two brothers or two sisters).


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Bilateral Descent

  • Also called cognatic descent

  • Canada, US, Europe

  • ego sees his or her relatives on both sides as being of equal closeness & relevance

  • the degree of closeness is based on generational distance separating the individuals (our system)


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Strengths of Bilateral System

  • Overlapping membership

  • Widely extended, can form broad networks

  • Flexible

  • Useful for groups that do not live in same place

  • Useful when valued resources are limited


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Extensions of kin groups

  • lineage

  • matrilineage

  • patrilineage

  • segmentary lineage

  • clan

  • phratry

  • moiety

  • kindred


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Structures of Descent

  • lineages (patri & matri) - common ancestor

  • clan – several lineages common ancestor, usually large groups that are associated with mythical ancestors

  • phratry - unilineal descent group composed of a number of supposedly related clans

  • moieties - means half, when an entire society is divided into 2 unilineal descent groups

  • many societies have 2 or more types of descent groups in various combinations

  • some have lineages & clans, others may have clans & phrateries but no lineages


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Lineage

  • a corporate descent group whose members trace their genealogical links to a common ancestor

  • corporate = shares resources in common

    • own property

    • organize labour

    • assign status

    • regulate relations with other groups

  • endures beyond individual members


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Clan (or sib)

  • a non-corporate descent group whose members claim descent from a common ancestor without knowing the genealogical inks to that ancestor

  • often produced through fission of lineage into newer, smaller lineage


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characteristics of the clan

  • greater genealogical depth than lineage

  • lacks residential unity (in contrast to lineage)

  • a ceremonial unit that meets on special occasions

  • handle important integrative functions

  • may regulate marriage outside clan


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clans are often dependent on symbols as integrative feature

  • totem: a symbol of a clan’s mythical origin that reinforces clan member’s common descent

  • totem from Ojibwa ototeman; he is a relative of mine


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Phratries and Moieties

  • less common forms of descent groups

  • phratry: a unilineal descent group composed of at least two clans that supposedly share a common ancestry, whether they do or not

  • if a society is broken into only two large groups (clan or phratry), each group is referred to as a MOIETY

  • moieties, phratries, clans and lineages

    • from most inclusive to the least inclusive

    • all typically associated with exogamy


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Bilateral Kindred

  • a person's bilateral set of relatives who may be called upon for some purpose

  • no two persons belong exactly to the same kin group

  • ego centered with kindred of close relatives spreading out on both your mother's and father's sides

  • connected only because of you


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