- Slides: 27
MARRIAGE 1. 2. What is marriage? Common definitions don’t work in anthropology. Concepts to define marriage: Establish the legal father of a woman’s children and the legal mother of a man’s. Give either or both spouses a monopoly in the sexuality of the other.
MARRIAGE 3. 4. 5. 6. Gives either or both spouses rights to the labor of the other. Gives either or both spouses rights over the other’s property. Establishes a joint fund of property for the benefit of the children. Establishes a “socially” significant “relationship of affinity” between spouses and their relatives.
RULES OF MARRIAGE All societies have rules that tell people who they can’t marry, and who they should marry. These rules work at the same time:
RULES OF MARRIAGE Exogamy: The practice of seeking a husband or wife outside one’s own group. (who you can’t marry) This is adaptive (bigger gene pool) It gives you more affine relationships In North America, the exogamous group includes an individual's siblings, parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and sometimes cousins. There often are explicit incest laws prohibiting marriage or mating with these relatives. Incest: Sexual relations with someone considered to be a close relative. Universal taboo, but different in every culture.
RULES OF MARRIAGE Endogamy: Rules that dictate mating or marriage within a group to which one belongs (who you should marry) This group is “closer” than the “outsiders’ ” group. Ex. Marry within your lineage, marry within your caste. About 30% of all cultures define some cousins as preferred mates. The endogamous group includes relatives outside of the nuclear family but not more distant than cousins. � In the rural areas of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, it is not unusual to find that a third of marriages are with first cousins. The rate is even higher in some Middle Eastern nations. Roughly half of the marriages are with first cousins in much of the Arabian Peninsula, especially in the south. It helps preserve socio-economic status. Most societies are endogamous units.
RULES OF MARRIAGE A type of endogamy is Homogamy: to marry someone similar. Ex. Mexican/North American society. The endogamous group generally consists of the members of an individual's ethnic/racial, religious, socio-economic and/or age groups. � The North American endogamy rules, which encourage marriage within these groups, are usually in the form of implicit social pressure by friends and relatives. Another type endogamy is Royal Incest. Ex Hawaii, Peruvian Inca, Ancient Egypt.
MARRIAGE AS AN ALLIANCE In non-industrial societies, marriage is very important for the group. Affine relationships are important socially, politically, economically and ritually. Emphasis on uniting two families (not two people) Sometimes they are too important for the bride and groom to choose: � Love is possible but not primary motivation for marriage.
MARITAL EXCHANGES In most cultures the marriage is accompanied by some kind of transfer of goods and services. In our culture, wedding gifts. In most cultures gifts are exchanged between families, not just for the bride and groom. Gifts are important in human relationships, Gifts can reinforce alliances or legalize a marriage. There are three kinds of marital exchanges, that are very common:
MARITAL EXCHANGES 1. Bridewealth: Custom that requires a man and his relatives to transfer wealth to the relatives of his bride. The most common marital exchange, practiced by more than half world’s societies. Common where women's work is highly valued The most valuable thing is exchanged. It gives rights to children. It is a compensation to the family for losing the bride.
Nuer Distribution of 40 Cattle in Bride Price 20 Primary Family of the Bride (20) • Father of the bride 8 • Brother of same mother 8 • Brother of different mother 2 • Mother 2 40 10 10 Siblings of the Bride's Father (10) • Eldest brother by same mother 4 • Youngest brother by same mother 2 • Brother by different mother 2 • Fathers’ sister 1 Siblings of the Bride's Mother (10) • Eldest brother by same mother 4 • Youngest brother by same mother 2 • Brother by different mother 2 • Mothers’ sister 1 • Other people as far back as six or seven generations may claim a small symbolic gift from the groom.
MARITAL EXCHANGES 2. Brideservice: Custom that requires a man to spend some time working for the relatives of his bride. l l l It is rare It is sometime combined with bridewealth Ex. , Jacob worked 7 years for Rachel, plus 7 for Lea who was not part of the bargain
MARITAL EXCHANGES 3. Dowry: Custom where the bride’s family transfers wealth to the husband’s family. l l l l Dowry: the money, goods, property, or material goods that a woman brings to her husband in marriage. It is rare. It is common where men do most of the work. It does not give rights to children. It is like giving inheritance ahead It normally occurs in patriarchal societies. Ex. Europe, India.
HOW TO GET A WIFE/HUSBAND … There are different ways people enter marriage some are: Arranged marriage Emphasis on uniting two families (not two people) � Especially common when transfer of wealth is at stake � Inheritance Levirate: marriage of a woman to her brother-in-law � Sororate: husband marries his deceased wife's sister � Extended affinal marriages � Capture Gift exchange: Bilateral gift exchange � Bridewealth/brideservice � Dowry �
HOW TO GET A WIFE/HUSBAND … Elopment Occurs in every known society it is difficult to generalize � Can be validated by gift exchange and / or the birth of a child � Provides an acceptable form to deviate from custom � Adoption In Indonesia and Japan it was possible for a man to obtain a wife by being adopted into her family � It is a device where a patrilineally organized family maintain its line where there are no sons � Love Not popular � Society many times goes against it because it is considered a selfish way of entering marriage. �
SPOUSES… How many spouses an individual is allowed to have? The rule that is familiar to North Americans and Europeans is monogamy. While this is now by far the most common form of marriage around the world, it is, in a sense, the least preferred: In a sample of 850 societies, less than 20% preferred monogamy over other marriage patterns.
SPOUSES Monogamy 1 spouse at a time Polygamy Plural spouses Polygyny One man is allowed multiple wives. Polyandry One woman is allowed multiple husbands Group marriage Several women and men are allowed to be married simultaneously to one another. Most cultures permit polygamy.
SPOUSES Monogamy In North America and most other large-scale industrial societies where remarriage is permitted after divorce or death of a spouse, there often is serial monogamy: Marriage to multiple spouses, but only one at a time. Serial monogamy is not approved in many societies.
PLURAL MARRIAGES Polygyny Most preferred form of marriage: 80 -85% of world societies Common where women do much of the work In polygynous societies, only a minority of men have more than one wife, but normally it is the preferred form of marriage. In some cultures, it is the result of having few men. Ex. The Inuit. It is often welcomed by women
PLURAL MARRIAGES Polygyny Its has advantages an disadvantages for both men and women: Advantages for women All the women marry It legitimizes children Gives security in old age It secures the children’s future (wealth) More status Less work
PLURAL MARRIAGES Advantages for men Increased social prestige More wives, more descendants. More affine relationships Better support network More sexual partners Larger “workforce” (more hands for work) How many wives should a man have?
PLURAL MARRIAGES Possible disadvantages Rivalry/Favoritism Alliances (“ganging-up” on the husband) How to minimize friction? Sororal Polygyny: Marrying sisters. Separate quarters for each wife
PLURAL MARRIAGES Polyandry It is very rare Where it is found, it is an alternative form of marriage, not the predominant. Sometimes explained by lack of resources. Ex. Land. It is common as Fraternal Polyandry Advantages for men It preserves property and wealth Distribution of labor is possible
PLURAL MARRIAGES Advantages for women Many husbands to support her and her children. Less physical work. Better standard of life. Possible problems Sometimes the younger brother can end the arrangement. The domestic work load for the woman may be high.
CULTURAL RIGHTS VS. HUMAN RIGHTS Some areas of marriage are very polemic. Some marriage practices can be socially supported but illegal in the countries they are practiced: � Ex. Dowry, sati, child marriages, polygamy, etc. � Many cultures practice them in rural areas away from the law.
UNICEF PHOTO OF THE YEAR 2007 He’s forty, she’s eleven. The Afghan man Mohammed F. * and the child Ghulam H. *. Are engaged to be married. We needed the money? , Ghulam’s parents said. Faiz claims he is going to send her to school. They predict that Ghulam will be married within a few weeks after her engagement in 2006, so as to bear children for Faiz.