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MARRIAGE, FAMILY & KIN Dr. Jane Granskog.

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1 MARRIAGE, FAMILY & KIN Dr. Jane Granskog

2 Introduction overview of social organization
characteristics of kinship and descent types of descent systems forms of marriage, features and consequences the incest taboo family and household extensions beyond the family - descent systems

3 Overview of Social Organization
significance of pair bonding--most expected where both parents participate in care of young sharing of food leading to the division of labor restructuring of internal and external relations of bands leads to interdependence of groups, alliances based on marriage and correspondent kin ties established

4 Kinship vs Descent (Keesing)
The difference between kinship and family/kin relations corresponds to the difference between cultural categories (defined in symbolic terms, aspect of the ideational system) and social groups (groupings of people organized by categories and rules, social structure)

5 Definition of Kinship A principle of social organization based on a network of relations created by geneological connections and social ties modelled on the "natural" relations of geneological parenthood (sex and reproduction) however those may be defined and have meaning within a given cultural context

6 Distinctions between Kinship and Descent - Features of Kinship
defined with reference to the individual (ego) or pairs of individuals universally important bilateral from the point of ego, connects ever more distant relatives (unbounded) relationships defined are relative to a given person

7 Distinctions between Kinship and Descent - Features of Descent
defined with reference to an ancestor (ancestress) culturally recognized only in some societies connects (thru relations with common ancestor) only a limited class of ego's relatives descent status is absolute, you are or are not a member of a particular descent group

8 Distinctions between kinship, marriage and descent
In a narrow sense kinship (defined in terms of parents and children) contrasts with both marriage and descent relations by marriage are relations of affinity (in-laws = affines) relations by blood define consanguinity (consanguines) and are the basis of descent groups

9 Types of Descent Systems
Bilateral kinship - matrilateral kin vs patrilateral kin personal kindred (ego's relatives on both sides, unbounded); cognatic descent groups Unilineal Descent Systems patrilineal - descent through males matrilineal - descent through females

10 Unilineal Descent Groups
lineage (trace ties to known common ancestor); clan (trace ties to unknown common ancestor); phratry (grouping of clans; if only two groupings = moiety)

11 Definition of Marriage
a socially recognized union of two or more individuals usually but not always of the opposite sex, that transforms the status of the participants (specifies rights & duties of each) carries implications about permitted sexual access, gives the offspring a position in society (legitimization of offspring)

12 Definition of Marriage
establishes continuing connections between the kin of each party is always symbolically marked in some way (usually by public ceremony) universally present, establishes the bonds that are the basis of household and family systems

13 Forms of Marriage exogamy - marriage outside the group
endogamy - marriage within the group monogamy, serial monogamy - one man, one woman (two individuals) polygamy - plural spouses (great majority of societies within ethnographic record permit some form, usually polygyny)

14 Forms of Polygamy polygyny - multiple wives, if sisters = sororal polygyny polyandry - multiple husbands, if brothers = fraternal polyandry; if unrelated men = associated (Sinhalese, Sri Lanka), extended form in polygynandry secondary marriage (N. Nigeria & N. Cameroon) - woman has 2+ husbands while remaining married to first

15 Reasons for Prevalence of Polygyny
long postpartum sex taboo coupled with low-protein diet most significant - in noncommercial societies, an excess of females over males due to high loss of males in warfare pathogen stress, selective advantage for polygyny (along with sex ratio imbalance)

16 Reasons for Polyandry found rarely - Tibetans, Sherpa & Toda of India, Marquesans in E. Polynesia (Murdock) Tibet - land tenure, polyandry discourages partition of land , keeps brothers together; Pahari (Indo-Aryan, Himilayas), marriage practices - lack of wealth/bride price restrains population growth in harsh environments; other mechanisms - primogeniture, ultimogeniture

17 Other Variations in Marriage Practices
sororate - man marries his dead wife’s sister levirate - woman marries her dead husband’s brother cousin marriage (43% of Murdock’s sample) - cross-cousin marriage (FaSiSo or MoBrSo); parallel-cousin marriage (rare, usually FaBrDa --lineage endogamy, Bedouin)

18 Marriage and the Incest Taboo
Definition of Incest - engaging in sexual relations (outside of marriage but more inclusive than just adultery) with individuals defined as “close kin” (how close kin are defined may vary considerably) Distinct from proscriptions regarding marriage i.e., exogamy, endogamy; is always defined as intra-group significance of joking vs avoidence relations

19 Factors Affecting Presence of Incest Taboo & How It is Defined
structure of the family and larger kin groups role relations within the family nature of the larger socio-economic-political sphere - widest extension in less complex (tribal) societies (e.g., Cheyenne); least extensive in industrialized societies (primary kin, nuclear family)

20 Explanations for the Incest Taboo
no single universal explanation, are a number of considerations no universal horror of incest - is a range of variation in attitudes in defferent societies re: incest (some are horrified, others indifferent, depends on context) early human history; adaptive advantage (short life span, lack of age appropriate partners)

21 Explanations for the Incest Taboo
promote family harmony, Malinowski; Freud - jealousy within family, not supported Westermarck - “familiarity breeds contempt”, (lack of attraction between family members, situational, psychological factors leading to avoidance); supported by evidence from other primates, Kibbutz, N. Taiwan (“minor” marriages); missing sexual-agonistic link

22 Explanations for the Incest Taboo
taboo promotes alliances with other groups (Levi-Strauss, Cohen); insufficient explanation by itself, helps explain existence in noncommercial/tribal societies where kinship is key to social organization biological advantages of taboo - likelihood of maladaptive consequences of inbreeding that cultures may interpret in various ways

23 Explanations for the Incest Taboo - Cohen
Makes distinction between “core incest taboo” (blood relatives, nuclear family) vs “extended incest taboo” (kin outside core) Core incest taboo applies to need for individual privacy within boundary maintenance groups (networks in which people establish socio-emotional identity)

24 Explanations for the Incest Taboo - Cohen
sexual relations within core group threaten psychological well being of individual & survival of the group; socialization of individuals requires forming bonds with caretakers (authority figures) & later separation (to establish boundaries) from them “extended incest taboo” - need for alliances with other groups, search for relations/mates outside own group to cement ties

25 Evaluation of Incest in America
Characteristics of those who commit incest - fa-da incest most common; usually a form of child molestation; prevalence/ reported incidence much higher within past 20 years evaluate in context of societal characteristics - blended families, kinship ties no longer as important; presence of male dominance; families who are isolated from societal mainstream (e.g. case of “Brown family, S. America; “Erva” family, U.S)

26 Arranged Marriage vs Romantic Love
marriage by capture, usually women who are captured; control over marital choice rarely left to daughters; parental consent important in most societies (especially for women) if left to choice, one marries those one knows, emphasis on personal qualities of potential mates & opportunities to meet them; romantic love more important in societies with nuclear vs extended families & where there is less subsistence dependence

27 Marital Transactions transactions reflect kind of property that is present in society bride price, bride service - compensation for loss of bride’s work where women contribute heavily to production (labor) and/or contribute indirectly thru sons dowry - characteristic of agricultural based class societies with stratification & where there is potential for instability in status rankings

28 Marital Transactions relation between marital choice and other marriage customs - affair between partners vs arrangement within larger kin network marriage celebrations, a means by which men establish reproductive claims (also true of couvade); more elaborate ceremonies, more claims on children

29 Variations in Marital Relations
sex in marriage - usually frequent except during menstruation, pregnancy, or after childbirth (postpartum sex taboo); attitudes toward marital sex reflect views of sex in general; also related to marital choice extramarital sex - not uncommon for women or men in majority of societies, more often disproved of but with much variation in punishment - significance of the double standard

30 Variations in Marital Relations
extramarital sex - related to interest in creating/reinforcing useful alliances (wife trading) monogamous couples usually sleep together; polygynous, co-wives separate quarters relation between spousal aloofness, warfare & marrying one’s enemies (Mae Enga, Papua New Guinea vs Trobrianders)

31 Variations in Marital Relations
jealousy - problem rooted in disposition of resources, more often among unrelated co-wives (competition for favors, economic concerns) male jealousy - related to importance of marriage to adult status & limiting of sex to marital relationship; more likely where private property important

32 Variations in Marital Relations
spousal violence - assault common in U.S., wife-beating most common form cross-culturally prevalence is related to broader cultural patterns of adult violence & male dominance

33 Divorce & Remarriage considerable variation in tolerance & rates of divorce most common ground, adultery (often viewed as woman’s fault), sterility second most common cause - most directly or indirectly related to infidelity or infertility; most common reason, directly or indirectly, failure to have children

34 Divorce & Remarriage women seek divorce on grounds of incompatibility, faulure to fulfill economic duties, physical violence men seek divorce primarily on grounds of failure to have children though often cite incompatibility; infidelity cited as third in importance (more often expressed in violent retaliation for extramarital affairs)

35 Divorce & Remarriage divorce difficult, then remarriage also difficult; more so for women than men; men more likely to remarry gender inequality and interdependence limit grounds on which women seek divorce, more restrictions in male-focused societies

36 Divorce & Remarriage degree of female independence, female status (gender equality), high spousal interdependence are all related to rates of divorce - increase in gender equality often increases divorce remarriage - patterns of levirate & sororate - found where marriages stabilize and reinforce bonds between families & kin groups

37 Postmarital Residence (who goes where & why)
neolocality - new residence, relatively rare, recent practice - emerging primarily within last several 100 years, industrialized societies patrilocality (virilocal) - couple goes to live near or with groom’s family; associated with patrilineal descent; most common pattern; significant negative effect on women’s status (loss to family upon marriage)

38 Postmarital Residence (who goes where & why)
matrilocality (uxorilocal) - couple goes to live near or with bride’s family; associated with matrilineal descent & higher status of women (due to participation in subsistence) bilocality - couple goes to live with or near either set of parent (one with more resources); rare, associated with depopulation

39 Postmarital Residence (who goes where & why)
avunculocality - couple lives with or near husband’s mother’s brother; found in some matrilineal societies (Trobriand Islands); rare because exists when there is a need to keep men related thru females together duolocality - husband and wife live apart after marriage

40 Determinants of Postmarital Residence
division of labor in primary subsistence activities coupled with prevalence of internal vs external warfare men contribute most to subsistence - patrilocal; women contribute most to subsistence (with only external war) - matrilocal; if people fight among selves (internal warfare) - patrilocal

41 Determinants of Postmarital Residence
Basis of given residence forms are interrelated with environmental pressures - matrilocal systems where males are brought in - offer flexibility in horticultural societies In general, systems are more or less flexible and change when environmental and social pressures make it necessary.

42 Family and Household Definition of the family at a minimum includes one economically & socially responsible parent with a child; is the basic building block of society. Is identifiable by informants in terms of primary functions - minimal unit that cooperates in production & distribution, is responsible for the socialization of young, & makes alliances with like units

43 Family vs Household significant role relationships - conjugal & parental bonds; maternal bond is the irreducible minimum although cross-culturally this is rare form the family takes is a result of the adaptation to the social and physical context Are always preferred family forms that do not always conform to actual groups present (ideal vs real)

44 Family vs Household Not all families are domestic groups (i.e., households), not all domestic groups are families Many extended families may in fact be non-residential units with multi-economic enterprises household - “set of relationships which describes the association of an individual over a 24 hr. period” (R. Adams)

45 Types of Family Independent/conjugal/nuclear and variants - one conjugal bond, two generations Extended families - two or more conjugal bonds, two or more generations; may be extended horizontally through marriage (e.g., polygyny) or sibling ties (consanguinally extended) and/or extended vertically through descent (three+ generations--patrilineal, matrilineal, joint fraternal)

46 Features of Independent Families
Found in hunting & gathering societies as well as industrialized societies where economic functions do not require large permanent work force Characterized by sociological independence (personal identity - individual) Strengths - mobility, privacy, independence Limitations - instability, lack of continuity

47 Features of Extended Families
Found primarily in horticultural/agricultural societies with incompatible activity requirements (acts require being in two places at once) Characterized by sociological interdependence (personal identity - group) Strengths - economy, security, flexibility (replicability of roles) Limitations - emphasis on conformity & obedience (lack of individual initative), internal friction, “dominance” by elders

48 Summary Points There is always some form of ideal & actual family group that have above noted functions Unusual examples like the Kibbutz (Israel) & Nayar of India illustrate the non-universality of the nuclear family Problems with categories (ideal case) - emphasis must be given to a processual approach, functions of family within socio-historical context as a unit that changes over time (developmental cycle)

49 Summary Points distinction between family of orientation and family of procreation “Friends as family” - criteria for chosen kin have enough history to suggest future, are involved in important parts of each other’s lives are accessible in emergencies love, commitment, continuity - material out of which kinship is made

50 Unilineal Descent groups defined by kinship, contain an ideology (set of beliefs, myths and symbols that underlie collective identity); are based on principle of inclusion found in about two thirds of all known societies in addition to kinship, are also based on common interest (economic, political, etc) & serve to organize activities for members (regulate marriage, define alliance & cooperation between kin groups--mutual aid and support)

51 Unilineal Descent Groups
Must be viewed as an adaptation to the social and physical context - develop (as does private property) in response to competition & conflict over potential resources (non-state societies with warfare) found in societies with midrange complexity (nonindustrial agriculture, no complex state); disappear in urban-industrial societies where non-kin agencies or state take over functions

52 Patrilineal v.s. Matrilineal Descent
patrilineal systems statistically dominant - pastoral, male dominance in division of labor + need for mobility; so to with many horticultural & agricultural societies; presence of warfare is a critical factor matrilineal descent - result of relatively specialized adaptations to ecological conditions - largish sedentary communities wherein division of labor is such that crucial agricultural tasks are done by women

53 Patrilineal v.s. Matrilineal Descent
matrilineal & patrilineal descent groups are not functionally the mirror opposites of one another - men, important political role in all societies to produce M.D.G.’s - men of the consanguineal group have to associate with the women of the group; not so with women in P.D.G.’s problem for M.D.G.’s - combine rules of exogamy with system of rights and duties based on descent thru females

54 Forming Matrilineal Descent Groups
keep all members of consanguinal group together - consanguinal matrilineal group with natalocal residence - Nayar, Black Carib keep females together, disperse males - matrilocal residence, brittle marriages, difficult under conditions of land scarcity - Navajo, Hopi keep men together, disperse women - avunculocal residence with patrilocal marriage - Trobriand Islanders

55 Patrilineal Descent Groups
strategy - get rid of sisters, obtain wives; manifest control over wives including reproductive rights (in contrast to matrilineal groups - hang on to sisters, forget husbands) note distinction between descent group (partially localized) and descent category (higher order of inclusion) - important re: systems of segmentary opposition

56 Patrilineal Descent Groups - Variations
Tungus, Siberia - egalitarian, reindeer herders, lineages integrate groups symmetrically segmented lineages (i.e., segmentary opposition) exist where they must be clear about obligations and allies when fighting - Tiv, Africa

57 Patrilineal Descent Groups - Variations
conical descent groups - Tahitians, Nootka, Northwest Coast - chiefdoms with descent groups differentially ranked in prestige, privilege and obligations Chinese tzu - segmentation neither symmetrical or function of genealogy, reflects socio-economic position in society; function in complex state societies; key - ancestral estate for focal ancestor

58 Double Unilineal Descent
includes both matrilineal and patrilineal descent groups - works if individuals belong to mother’s group for some purposes, father’s groups for other purposes Yako, E. Nigeria - localized patriclans (political & landholding units) and dispersed matriclans (inherit moveable goods--livestock, priesthood)

59 Double Unilineal Descent
differs from complementary filiation (relations with opposite relatives --e.g, mother’s patrilineal kin/agnates) and ambilineal descent (trace descent from common ancestor of either males OR females) often found where there is a transition from one system to another (e.g., patrilineal groups moving into territory of a matrilineal society)

60 Forms of Cognatic Descent
Two basic types of cognatic groupings: ego focus - personal kindred - group of kin all of whom have a relative in common; unbounded; same personnel only for siblings; defined bilaterally; can’t be corporate unless there is a special rule (eg. primogeniture) limiting membership (stem kindreds) ancestor focus - nonunilineal descent group - sept; ambilineal descent group, ramage - no consensus on terms

61 Cognatic Descent Groups
kindreds always involve some collateral limitation on extension of positions - may not be the same on both sides - skewed kindreds C.D.G.’s tend to be found mostly among island populations - may be a breakdown of patrilineal systems due to population pressure; advantages lie in flexibility of the system

62 Cognatic Descent Groups
C.D.G.’s constitute all relatives from common ancestor (no restrictions on gender). Take three forms: unrestricted - non-residential, all descendents of founder are members restricted - those who locate in founder’s territory exercise rights of inheritance pragmatically restricted - all descendants remain members, choose group in which to activate rights

63 Summary Points whether larger kin groups focus on women or men profoundly affects the nature of the family, family relations, roles women & men play, on their opportunities and constraints & on their relative social positions nature of war (internal vs purely external) largely predicts whether couples live with husband’s or wife’s kin.

64 Summary Points residence not only shapes the composition of larger kin groups, it also influences composition of the extended household kind of descent group to which one belongs - female vs male focused - influences sexuality - degree to which it is restricted for each gender before & after marriage

65 Summary Points coincidence of polygyny & patrilocality in societies with internal warfare can greatly exaggerate husband-wife avoidance & affects degree of political participation of women (degree of spousal aloofness) women tend to have the highest status in foraging & horticultural societies where they contribute significantly to subsistence & where there is an emphasis on harmony

66 Summary Points patrilineality, patrilocality, conflict , and social stratification often translate into limited autonomy & opportunities for women modernization generally results in a decrease in status of women in traditional societies

67 Summary Points positon of women in industrialized societies - gain in autonomy in general but with loss of safety net provided by kin that is not compensated for by other institutions - “feminization of poverty” in U.S. increase in societal complexity has meant less reliance on extended kin networks & has sometimes led to new kinds of networks emerging

68 New Approaches to the Study of Kin
Structural Approach - Culture as an ideational/symbolic system; new modification - analysis of cultural knowledge underlying social relations (emic view); analysis of cognitive maps people use to guide behavior Processual Approach - Family system dynamics, network analysis; focus on actual behavior, strategies for attaining goals, networks used to adapt to a changing environment

69 Schneider - American Kinship
Analysis of the meaning of “relative” in American culture - basic terms (mo/da/fa/so/br/si/hu/wi) & derivative (modifiers - step/in-law/great/grand - restrictive & unrestricted) Kinship defined biogenetically: Order of Blood - never severed, relationship of identity, substance; Order of Law - not by nature, can be terminated Three classes of relatives: In nature alone; by nature & law; by law alone

70 Schneider & Homans - American Kinship Terminology
primary importance of the nuclear family, secondarily, the kindred elaborate role differentiation within the nuclear family reflected in use of situationally based alternate terms (emphasis on achieved status & authority) kinship system embodies essence of dominant values of the whole culture

71 Bott - Family & Social Networks
focus on social networks & role relations between spouses in London neighborhoods if husbands & wives come to marriage with close-knit networks which remain important after marriage, there is a more rigid conjugal role separation if spouses have loosely knit networks upon marriage or afterwards, more attention is given to conjugal relation & sharing of tasks

72 Davila - Compadrazgo focus on extended use of ritual kin in Latin America - compadrazgo - co-parenthood relations between parents , child & godparents/sponsor; basis of alliances - people to count on for favors factors determining polyadic vs dyadic & horizontal vs vertical ties established (relationship to land, dependence on kin; perceived socio-economic mobility)

73 Wagner & Schaffer - Social Networks & Survival Strategies
Study of variations in patterns of cooperation & resource specialization in the social networks of Mexican-American, Anglo and Black female headed housholds in San Jose Mexican American women - larger networks, kin based (typically 11 or more kin); greater resource specialization Anglos & Blacks - smaller (average 4) kin networks; relied more on few close friends & commercial resources for aid

Stack refers to them as "domestic networks" with flexible boundaries centering on the maternal bond and consanguinal kin - frequently associated with the culture of poverty. Tanner argues that the principle of matrifocality, is present within a variety of societies with a variety of kinship structures (e.g., patrilineal, matrilineal, etc.)

DEFINITION: societies wherein the role of MOTHER is STRUCTURALLY, CULTURALLY, and AFFECTIVELY central and wherein that CENTRALITY is LEGITIMATELY recognized by society.

76 MATRIFOCALITY Found where there is an egalitarian emphasis regarding gender roles, both women's and men's roles important. May exist at different levels within the kinship structure Concept is distinct from the notion of "MOMISM" wherein the central role of mother is NOT viewed positively or legitimately recognized.

77 The Changing Family in America
how current status of the family is understood is affected by assumptions regarding its character assumed universality of the nuclear family assumed parental determinism (re: socialization of children) assumed stable harmonious past heritage of the perception of families in crisis

78 Geile - Changing U.S. Family
changes in gender roles are reflected in changes in family structure - increase in numbers of working women, demographic changes in life cycle emphasis now is on flexibility over the life span re: tasks carried out at each age & in gender-typing of tasks; increased awareness that responsibilities for parenthood & housework are unevenly distributed between men and women (“double day”)

79 Geile - Changing Family Types
Stage 1 - peasant/pre-industrial family - often extended, unit of production & consumption; patrilocal, husband primary authority Stage 2 - traditional nuclear family - husband, breadwinner, wife, homemaker; complementary spheres of authority Stage 3 - symmetrical family - both husband & wife work outside home, both share in family duties; key feature, flexibility & adaptability

80 Lindsey - Non Biological Families
discusses myths of the “happy traditional family” & of marriage points out increasing importance of non-biological kin; significance of enmeshed vs disengaged families of orientation types of non-biological family honorary relative workplace & neighborhood families chosen family (positive & negative)

81 Summary Points changes in conception of family & kin according to changes in socio-economic context; emergence of new forms of family importance of world view - consequences of independent complex, linear vs cyclical world views; emergence of new paradigm - transmodernists/”cultural creatives”

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