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					Marriage
WHAT IS MARRIAGE?
         Common Law Definition
         "lawful union of one man and
         one woman."


         Common Law
         Definition (Bill C38)
         "lawful union of two persons
         to the exclusion of all others"
             Anthropological definitions
“A series of customs formalizing
the relationship between male and
female adults within the family.
Marriage is a socially approved
union between a man and a
woman that regulates the sexual
and economic rights and
obligations between them.
Marriage usually involves an
explicit contract or understanding
and is entered into with the
assumption that it will be
permanent.”        Ferraro 2005
                                     Tahitian couple
      Characteristics of Marriage
1. socially approved or sanctioned?
2. sexual union
3. between a man and a woman?
4. between adults?
5. Political / religious / economic union
6. a bundle of rights, expectations, and
   obligations
7. assumption of relative permanence
8. legal (a contract)
9. between individuals?
10.part of a social process
                  1. Socially Approved
Is it OK for unmarried    Prior to 1960 unmarried couples in
  couples to cohabit?    the US were legally prevented from
                         registering in hotels or obtain a home
                         mortgage.
                          In Canada, the number of common-
                         law relationships more than doubled
                         between 1981 and 2001 (14% 2001)
                          Women in the 90s were more likely
                         than women in the 80s to cohabit rather
                         than marry in response to pregnancy.
                          Suggests that cohabitation is
                         becoming more a substitute for
                         marriage, rather than a form of
                         engagement that culminates in
 Living in Sin?
                         marriage
Even older people, when a marriage breaks up are now more likely
to first enter a common law relationship before re-marrying

Stats Canada
  Who Should one Marry/Not Marry
    Rules of Exogamy (out marriage) and
          Endogamy (in-marriage)




It was only after a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1967 that
    mixed race couples could marry anywhere in the U.S
            Cross Cousin and Parallel Cousin Marriages




Ego's cross cousins (yellow) are the children of opposite sexed
parental siblings
Ego's parallel cousins (green) are the children of same sexed
parental siblings
In some societies the ideal is to marry one’s cross cousin, as he/she
will belong to a different lineage (for alliance purposes), or parallel
cousin, as he/she will be in the same lineage (inheritance purposes).
       Incest Taboo
Holds  for parents and siblings in all
current societies
Only exceptions in past:
Brother-Sister mating among royalty in
ancient Egypt, Hawaii, Inca
 Cleopatra, the Last Pharaoh (B.C. 69-30)
 reigned as Queen Philopator and Pharaoh between 51 and
  30 BC
 Married brother Ptolemy XIII
 After Ptolemy XIII’s death, married brother Ptolemy XIV
Prohibitions on Cousin Marriages in the USA
          Explanations for incest taboo

   Biological
    • Inbreeding results in Deleterious genetic defects
   Psychological
    • Familiarity breads contempt
   Sociological
    • Increases network of cooperation, prevents fighting
    • Minimizing sexual competition within family
    • Avoids role disruption within family
Many, many years ago when I was just twenty-three,
I was married to a widow, she was pretty as could be.
This widow had a grown-up daughter who had hair of red
And my father fell in Love with her. Soon they too were wed.        I’m My Own
                                                                      Grandpa
This made my dad my son-in-law--changed my very life!
My daughter was my mother because she was my father's wife!
To complicate the matter even though it brought me joy,
I soon became the father of a bouncing baby boy.

My little baby he then became a brother-in-law to Dad.
Well, that made him my uncle--made me very sad!
Because if he was my uncle then he also was a brother
To the widow's grown-up daughter, who, of course, was my stepmother.

My father's wife then had a son who kept them on the run.
And, of course, he became my grandchild because he was my daughter's son.
My wife is now my mother's mother and this makes me blue
Because although she is my wife, she's my grandmother too!

Now if my wife is my grandmother, well, then I am her grandchild,
And every time that I think about this, it nearly drives me wild!
Because now I have become the strangest case that you ever saw
As husband of my grandmother, I’m my own grandpa!
                   2. Sexual Union?
                          Marriages of Convenience
                          Nayar Exception




                          Nayar Girls, Upper Class. Photo
Is exclusivity in a
relationship necessary?   by Nicholas & Co. [ca. 1913]
          3. Between a Man and a Woman?
                                         Cheyenne




Are same sex marriages,
an affront to a divinely
ordained order ?
                           The Nandi- Kenya
                    Same Sex Marriages
1961 Illinois is the first state in the U.S. to decriminalize
homosexuality. Others follow in 1960s and 1970s
1967 Britain decriminalizes homosexuality
1969 homosexuality decriminalized in Canada
1989: Denmark becomes the first country to legally recognize
same-sex partnerships, essentially sanctioning gay marriages
2000Vermont is the first state in the U.S. to provide same-sex
couples with rights, benefits and responsibilities similar to those of
heterosexual couples
2001: The Netherlands allows same-sex couples to marry and gives
them the same rights as heterosexuals when it comes to adopting
2003 June 10, Ontario widens marriage definition allowing same-
sex couples to obtain marriage licenses. Other provinces follow
2005 (July 20) Bill C-38 becomes law redefining marriage as a
“lawful union of two persons” permitting same sex marriage
                       4. Between Adults?




                            Mina, 8, with Sukhram, 22, right, and his
                            family members, after their marriage
                            (Rajasthan N. India 1998)

                            Each year thousands of girls, some as young as
                            6 months, are married to older boys in
Berber Child Bride,         weddings across the Rajasthan as part of the
Morocco (12 yrs old)        annual Akhai Teej, festival considered an
                            auspicious day for marriage.
Human rights activists have demanded         Friends say she was forced to
action over the marriage of Ana-Maria        consummate the marriage. "Legally it
Cioaba to a 15-year-old bridegroom.          was rape," one friend said.
Ana-Maria is reported to be either 12 or     The wedding was an "exceptionally
14 years old                                 grave breach of children's rights", said
                                             Romanian Deputy Prime Minister
Family members say she had been
                                             Serban Mihailescu.
promised in marriage to 15-year-old Birita
Mihai when she was just seven, for the
                                                         September 30 2003
price of 500 gold coins.
The girl's father, Florin Cioaba, told
critics to keep out of his business. "As a
father I know what is good for my kids.
We Roma have a tradition to marry our
children when minors," he said.
The minimum age for legal weddings in
Romania is 16, but the practice of school-
age marriages remains common in the
Roma community, and the Romanian              Florin Cioaba was defiant about Ana-
authorities normally turn a blind eye.        Maria's wedding
                                               National Post
     5. Political, Religious, Economic Union?




Catherine of Aragon




                         Mary Tudor
                        (Bloody Mary)
             Bridewealth or bride-price
 A gift of money or goods given to the
bride’s kin by the groom or his kin.
 most common in pastoral communities
where the traditional currency is livestock,
especially cattle, horses, camels and,
increasingly, money.
in order to marry, young men must
subordinate themselves, and become
obligated to their elders (and provide labour,
political support, bear arms etc.)
 senior men also therefore command the
allocation of women’s labour power.              Dani Chief with Bride
                                                 Price Stone
some men use this power to obtain several
wives for themselves
                         Bridewealth
 payments may be concluded at the time of marriage or may
continue for years.
 Bridewealth provides for a continuing relation between groups
since in many societies a man’s kin are expected to contribute to the
bridewealth needed for this marriage.
 Represents a tangible
public statement of the
marriage transaction -- as if
they went through a church
wedding
Some dramatic changes in
bridewealth have occurred
with the introduction of
education. An educated
women is worth far more
than an uneducated one.
                                              Bridewealth is most
                                              common in patrilineal
                                              descent systems
                                              For the Nuer and
                                              Dinka, the transfer of
                                              cattle in marriage has
                                              a symbolically and
                                              politically central
                                              place in the affairs of
                                              descent groups.

rights transferred to the groom’s group in exchange for
    • rights over a woman’s fertility
    • labour
    • future members
characteristically seen as compensation to her kin group for the
loss of her work services and presence as well as her fertility.
                Bridewealth
 • Legalizes marriage and legitimizes offspring
 • In patrilineal system, gives father the right to
   have the children belong to his group
 • Compensates bride’s family for loss of her
   services and allows them to replace her with
   daughter-in-law
 • Serves to ally families, those who receive share
   of payment are witnesses to marriage
 • Status symbol for both families
 • Guarantee of husband’s good behavior

Bride   service: groom works for bride’s family
                               Dowry
A transfer of goods or money from the bride’s family to bridegroom,
or the groom’s family.

1. a dowry is a woman’s share of parental property
   which instead of passing to her upon her
   parent’s death is distributed to her at the time of
   her marriage
2. which does not mean that she controls it
3. under traditional European law, for example a
   woman’s property falls exclusively under the
   control of her husband.
4. Also provides a mechanism for forming alliances
   between families                                A Kazak woman
5. characteristic of societies with fixed plot     opening a young bride's
   agriculture                                     dowry. The dowry
                                                   includes rugs,
6. common among European peasants and              handsewn mattresses,
   widespread in Asia, especially India            dresses, and dishes.
                                      Bollywood spoof posters




Dowry is still an essential part of
marriage negotiations in India.
But nearly 5000 women a year are                         Anti-Dowry
killed because they did not bring a big                 Demonstration
enough dowry ("bride burning" or                         Delhi, 1980
"dowry deaths")
        6. A Bundle of Rights and Obligations
 Traditionally, in most societies, marriage was primarily an
alliance between kin groups rather than between individuals.
 marriage involves a transfer or
flow of rights from a wife’s group
to husbands (or vice versa)
    • rights to labour of men and
    women (economic)
    • rights to property
    (economic)
    • rights to the priority of
    sexual access (sexual)
    • rights over fertility -
    children i.e. belong to man’s
    or woman’s lineage               Gabonaise Woman – Michael Brugger
    (patrilineal/matrilineal)
    (social)
Belarus       68%   Austria      38   7. Assumption of
Russia        65    Denmark      35
Sweden        64    Slovakia     34   Relative
Latvia        63    Bulgaria     28
Ukraine       63    Israel       26
                                      Permanence
Czech Rep.    61    Kyrgyzstan   25
Belgium       56    Romania      24
                                      Percentage of
Finland       56    Portugal     21
Lithuania     55    Poland       19   Divorces (as % of
U. K.         53    Armenia      18   marriages) in
Moldova       52    Greece       18   Selected Countries
U.S.          49    Spain        17
Hungary       46    Azerbaijan   15
Canada        45    Croatia      15
Norway        43    Cyprus       13
France        43    Georgia      12
Germany       41    Italy        12
Netherlands   41    Uzbekistan   12
Switzerland   40    Albania      7
Iceland       39    Turkey       6
Kazakhstan    39    Macedonia    5
       Divorce in non-Western societies
often involves a contract between corporate groups
and is more difficult than in West

where bridewealth is high marriage is stable, where
low divorce common

what happens to the bridewealth?
  sometimes all or part returned
  may depend on the cause of divorce, or any children

what happens to the contract between kin groups in
terms of rights over the children.
  The relationship contractually established may endure
  despite the death of one of the partners
                    8. A legal contract
           What happens when the contract is broken?

Deuteronomy 25:5-6 “If                   Levirate
brothers are living together
and one of them dies without
a son, his widow must not
marry outside the family.
Her husband’s brother shall
take her and marry her and
fulfill the duty of a brother-
in-law to her… The first son
she bears shall carry on the
name of the dead brother so
that his name will not be
blotted out from Israel.”
                           Sororate
If a wife dies her lineage may be contractually obliged to provide
a replacement I.e. her sister, or brother’s daughter, or some
other close relative

1. a widower is entitled to a replacement
bride from the same lineage or family.
2. obliges a woman to marry her
deceased sister’s husband.
3. The longer the period of first marriage
and the more children the less the claim.
4. levirate and sororate demonstrate that
marriage is a union not simply between
individuals but between the
representatives of groups and that it is a
contractual relationship
Nuer Ghost Marriage
       A Nuer woman whose husband has
       died remains subject to a legal
       contract through which rights to her
       children were transferred to her
       husband's group.
       Ideally, she should remarry her
       deceased husband's brother.
       Alternatively she may simply take
       lovers
       Any children she then bears are
       socially defined as the offspring of
       her dead first husband.
       Occasionally an unwed woman may
       marry the “ghost” of a dead man
   9. Between individuals?
How Many Should one Marry?
                                       Polygamy


               Polygyny                                 Polyandry


one man and two or more women. (70% of societies)
 Polygamy has been the cultural ideal in most societies.
  But monogamy is the statistical reality in all societies.
most common where women are important contributors to the
economy e.g. agricultural societies
 Polygyny often practised by men of wealth or high rank
 Commonly associated with an age asymmetry, were prominent
men have gained power and wealth later in life and can afford
another wife
 This causes a shortage of young women, and an excess of young
unmarried men
 men marry at an older age than women.
Polygyny

Advantages for      man:
   Many children
   Prestige
   Wealth produced by
    wives and children
   Sex partners -- often
    many taboos
   Political alliances with
                               Tom Green and Family
    in-laws
                                Salt Lake City Utah
Polygyny
Advantages for woman
Polygyny
                             Advantages for woman
• Prestige and wealth of
  household
• Share housework and
  childcare
• Less child bearing
• Greater freedom and
  autonomy
• Companionship            Conflicts
• Can get married easily   Conflicting interest in children –
                           inheritance
                           jealousy
                                            Polyandry
                                        two or more men share
                                       married to one woman
                                        quite rare
                                        common form is where
                                       a group of brothers
                                       marry one woman -
                                       called fraternal
                                       polyandry


E.g. In Himalayas with land shortage its an effective way of
limiting the population while ensuring their perpetuation.
The marriage of brothers to a single woman averted the danger
of constantly subdividing farmlands among all the sons of any
one landowner.
              10. Marriage as a process

process through which
families and kinship groups
are formed

process whereby descent
groups are interlinked

process of achieving
reproduction of society, both
socially and biologically.
                   Functions of Marriage
Regulates mating, reproduction and child rearing in a socially
approved way.
Provides a mechanism for regulating the sexual division of
labor – domestic relationships that facilitate the exchange of
goods and services.
Creates a set of family relationships that can provide for the
material, educational and emotional needs of children.
Legitimizes children
provides for the woman in many technologically simply
societies there is no means whereby an unmarried woman can
support herself
defines social position of individuals e.g. adulthood
establishes legal rights and interests e.g. over property,
children etc.
Serves as an instrument of political relations between
individuals and groups
    Why do People Get Married
   Defines relations of pair to each other, their
    kin, future offspring and society
   Traditional reasons for marriage:
     •   Gain adult status
     •   Sexual division of labor
     •   To have legitimate children
     •   Economic and political considerations
     •   Love
    History of Passionate Love

 1500 west diverges from rest of
     world - emergence of the self
 the rise of individualism, democracy
 reinforces romantic love
 West: 500 yrs to make transition
 Rest of world: - 50 yrs
 love marriage sweeps the world
Rules of Residence

   Patrilocal: Wife joins husband’s family
   Matrilocal: Husband joins wife’s family
   Neolocal: Couple form new residence

				
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