What Is a Family? A family is a group of people who are connected to one another by consanguineal, affinal or fictive kin ties.
Types of Kin Ties Consanguineal ties = ties established by birth Affinal ties = ties established by marriage Fictive kin ties = ties that mimic consanguineal or affinal ties where no such tie exists
What Is a Standard Kinship Diagram? A standard kinship diagram has two of each type of relative EGO can have, one that is male and one that is female. As a result, standard kinship diagram does not have the complexity of most real family diagrams. A standard kinship diagram is shown below. Notice that EGO’s parents each have two siblings, one sister and one brother. Likewise each of these has two children, one male and one female.
Aspects of Families Who chooses marriage partners? What kind of contract exists between families? How many spouses are involved in given family? What kind of household form is the norm? Who is included in the corporate* family group? How is property inherited? *Corporate means that people actually work together to accomplish goals.
Who Chooses Marriage Partners? Fathers Males in the family Parents Family members with rights of refusal for bride Personal choice
Marriage Contract Bride Price/Wealth – groom’s family gives goods/animals to bride’s family to show his ability to provide and to compensate them for the loss of their daughter’s labor Suitor Service – groom works for the brides family (usually hunting in a foraging society) to demonstrate his ability to provide and to compensate for the loss of the daughter’s labor Dowry – bride’s family offers goods that come with the bride into the marriage to make her more desirable as a marriage partner. Sometimes bride controls the goods, sometimes they become the property of the groom.
Numbers of Spouses in a Family Monogamy = the marriage of one woman to one man Polygamy = the marriage of multiple wives OR husbands to a member of the opposite sex (a general term). There are three (3) types: Polygyny = the marriage of one man to multiple wives Polyandry = the marriage of one woman to multiple husbands Group Marriage = the marriage of multiple women to multiple men
Example of Polygynous Marriage This is “Sororal Polygyny”
Household Form Nuclear Family = a monogamously married couple and their offspring living together in a household. Centralized Polygynous Family = a man and his multiple wives living together in a family. Satellite Polygynous Family = Multiple wives of a single man who maintain separate houses for themselves and their children, but work together in domestic tasks Extended Family = a domestic group consisting of three or more generations of consanguineally and affinally related people. Group Marriage Family = a domestic unit composed of all of the spouses and offspring of a group marriage.
Inheritance & Corporate Membership Patrilineal = goods/name passed through male consanguineal links only Matrilineal = goods/name passed through female consanguineal links only Bilateral/Cognatic = goods/name passed through both male and female links Ambilateral = individuals can choose whether to pass goods/name through either male or female links.
What is a Patrilineage? The diagram below show all relatives in EGO’s patrilineage in blue. Notice that if a person is in EGO’s patrilineage, all siblings of that person are also in EGO’s patrilineage. EGO’s mother is not part of his patrilineage, nor are any of her family members. His mother is part of another patrilineage that includes 3, 10, 12, 13, 23 and 24.
Patrilineal Inheritance of Property The diagram below shows how property is typically inherited in a patrilineal system. The blue lines show how inheritance moves from one male individual in a generation to male individuals in succeeding generations.
What is a Matrilineage? The diagram below show all relatives in EGO’s matrilineage in pink. Notice that if a person is in EGO’s matrilineage, all siblings of that person are also in EGO’s patrilineage. EGO’s father is not part of his matrilineage, nor are any of his family members. His father is part of another matrilineage that includes 2, 6, 7, 9, 15 and 16.
Matrilineal Inheritance of Property The diagram below shows how property is typically inherited in a matrilineal system. Notice that females are the links that connect men who will inherit. The pink lines show how inheritance moves from one male individual in a generation to male individuals in succeeding generations. Women do not typically manage property, even in a matrilineal system.
Mother’s Brother in Matrilineages In matrilineal societies, EGO’s mother’s brother is a very important relative, because he is the one who controls the property that EGO will inherit. EGO is the mother’s brother of his sister’s son(s). EGO will therefore manage his matrilineage’s property for his sister’s sons to inherit. EGO’s own children will not inherit from him. They will inherit from their mother’s (EGO’s future wife’s) brother(s).