Presentation on theme: "Family, kinship, and marriage"— Presentation transcript:
1 Family, kinship, and marriage (The information in this talk has been taken from Ann Samuelson’s presentation “Kinship,” Conrad Kottak’s presentations “Marriage” and “Kinship”, and Conformity and Conflict 10 ed.)
2 A few questions: What’s family? What’s kinship? What’s marriage? Image source:
3 Family A fundamental social group in society 2+ people who share goals and values, have long-term commitments to one another, and reside usually in the same dwelling place.Usually based on kinship relationshipsUsually implies rights and obligationsEconomicChild-rearingEtc.Nuclear family - widespread but not universalImage source -
4 KinshipHow cultures perceive and formally categorize people’s relationships based on marriage, biology, and adoptionConsanguinity = by common ancestor, adoptionAffinity = by marriagehelps to answer questions:Who am I close to? Who am I distant from?Who can I marry?Who can I be romantically involved/have sex with?Who am I obligated to cooperate with?Who provides support during crises?Who shares in economic and religious undertakings?Etc.As long as a society remains small, kinship groups are very important.Image source:
5 Kinship cross-culturally Lots of varietyAt individual level, usually ascribedPossibilities include:UnilinealMatrilinealPatrilinealBilateral (e.g. most in U.S.A.& Canada, Inuit)Others (e.g. bilineal, ambilineal)
6 Matrilineal descent: Heritage traced back to mother’s mother, mother and her siblings, and the children of your mother’s sisters. Less common. (e.g. Hopi, Canela)Matrilocal: New husband moves in with the wife and her parents.Pros?Cons?
8 Patrilineal descent: Most common type of Unilineal decent Patrilineal descent: Most common type of Unilineal decent. Traces ancestry through male lines: starting with father’s father to father and father’s siblings, to the children of your father’s brothers. (e.g. Japan, China, feudal Europe)Patrilocality: When a son and his family lives with his parents.Pros?Cons?
10 Marriage Marriage cross-culturally: 1 man + 1 woman almost always an option but many societies also allow other forms of marriage:Polyandry (rare)Polygyny (more common)Other possibilities:Same sex marriagesArranged marriagesEtc.
11 Marriage is pretty much universal, but it’s difficult to define! Marriage can:establish children’s parentageestablish marriage participants’ exclusive right to sexgive one spouse the right another spouse’s labor and/or propertyestablish a joint fund of property for childrenestablish social ties between the spouses’ relativesetc.
12 The Nuer - same sex and “ghost” marriages allowed Examples:TibetThe Nuer - same sex and “ghost” marriages allowedThe Masai of East Africa - polygyny allowedFeudal Europe - arranged marriagesPhoto source: Conrad Kottak’s presentations “Marriage”A masai elder with his wives andchildren.
13 Example: polyandry (1 woman, multiple husbands) A polyandrous family in Nepal. The seated young woman is Terribal, age 15. She holds her youngest husband, age 5. Left of her is another husband, age 12 and behind her a third husband, age 9.Photo source: Conrad Kottak’s presentations “Marriage”
14 Divorce is found in most if not all societies, but the rules vary from society to society. Factors that can influence divorce rate:Are spouses financially independent?Was bridewealth paid?Will a woman lose her children if she leaves?Etc.
15 Group discussion “Family trees” - compare Similarities?Differences?How have ideas of family & marriage changed in the U.S. over the past 50 years?Why do you think these changes have happened?How are these changes reflected/intensified by the media?