Marriage Account Management by ovu79789


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An anthropological perspective
• All societies recognize
  families and marriages
• The details of what this
  looks like varies from
  culture to culture.
• In Indonesia, people
  typically ask, “Are you
  married, or not yet?”
• A social unit characterized by the following
  – economic cooperation
  – the management of reproduction and child
  – common residence.
  – socially approved sexual relations
  – Recognition of rights and responsibilities
   Traditional View of Marriage
• Marriage is a union
  between a man and
  woman such that the
  children born to the
  woman are recognized
  as legitimate offspring
  of both partners.
  Royal Anthropological
  Institute, 1951.
         Non-ethnocentric view
• A relationship between one or more men (male
  or female) and one or more women (female or
  male) who are recognized by society as having
  a continuing claim to the right of sexual access
  to one another.
  –   This recognizes that gender is culturally defined
  –   Not all married couple live together
  –   Multiple spouses are accepted in many societies
  –   In no society do all marriages endure until death
• Stable relationships to regulate sexual
  mating and reproduction
• Regulates sexual division of labor.
  Provides socially sanctioned rules for
  economic rights and obligations
• Provides relationships to provide for the
  material, educational, and emotional
  needs of children
     Mate Selection- Don’t Marry
• Incest: prohibitions relating to mating with relatives is universal but
  the precise rules vary. Many rules of incest apply to the choice of
  spouse for marriage
    – Iranian loss of virginity with young boys by male relatives
    – No nuclear family. However, brothers and sisters of Egyptian, Inca and
      Hawaiin royalty frequently married
    – First cousin? Cross cousin? Parallel cousin?
        • 24 states forbid first cousin marriage
        • Yanomami consider cross cousins proper, but not parallel cousins
    – Why?
        • Natural aversion? Found to be found in Jewish Kibbutz. Yet 10-15% of
          people experience incest
        • Prevent inbreeding? Mating with first cousins doesn’t significantly increase
          the risk of birth defects
        • Family disruption? Too much competition
        • Expanding social alliances? Allows families to create wider social ties
   Mate selection- Who to Marry
• Exogamy: Marriage outside of a group
• Endogamy: Marriage within a group
    – Indian caste
    – Race, class, ethnicity, religion
• Arranged marriages
    – Japanese Omiai or India
• Cross cousin: mother’s brother’s children or father’s sister’s children-
  solidifies family ties
• Parallel cousin: found in Middle East and North Africa as way to
  prevent fragmentation of family property.
• Levirate (marry brother or close male relative of dead husband)-
  looks after wife in patrilineal society and maintains connections
  between the family
• Sororate- other way around. In a matrilineal and matrilocal society,
  a husband can stay with the family. It also allows the bride’s family
  to keep the bridewealth.
          Arranged Marriage
• In 1996, a recent Iraqi refugee living in Nebraska
  arranged a double marriage for his two
  daughters. It was an occasion for a big party.
• The problem was that his daughters were 13
  and 14 and the men were 28 and 34.
• Marriage in traditional Iraqi society is viewed a
  union between two large families. Moreover, by
  marrying young, a woman is protected from the
  shame of being dishonored by premarital sex
• Should American law take into account cultural
                 Number of Spouses
•   Monogamy- one spouse at a time
     – Lifelong partnerships are
       circumvented by discreet
       extramarital affairs or serial
•   Polygany
     – 7/10 world cultures permit or
     – In 2005, it is estimated that 30,000
       people practice polygany
     – Where women are seen as
       economic assets, like in Africa,
       rates are high, while the converse
       is true
          • In the Solomon Islands, women
            farm and raise pigs
     – Ratio is possible if males killed in
       war, male infanticide, male             Utah polygamist Tom Green with his
       capture, or if older men marry         family of five wives and some of his 29
       younger women                                           children
• Practice of one woman
  marrying more than one man
   – Found in 1% of the world-
     Nepal, Tibet, India
   – Fraternal or non-fraternal
   – Advantages: Shortage of
     women, conserve
     economic resources,
     prevent primogeniture
   – Used when shortage of
     women or for the
     preservation of family

YUSHU COUNTY, CHINA - JULY 18: (L-R) La Wen, Cai Zhuo, Gama Sangding and their
child Gelai Bajiu pose for a photo in their house located at the downtown area on July 18,
2007 in Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province, northwest China. The
40-year-old Tibetan woman Cai Zhuo has two husbands who are brothers, 44-year-old
La Wen and 41-year-old Gama Sangding.
       Economic considerations
• Bridewealth:
   – Compensation given by family of groom to the family of the
     bride-- 46%
   – Compensates the bride’s group for the loss of companionship
     and labor
• Bride service
   – Providing of labor rather than goods
• Dowry
   – Compensation from bride to groom. It is meant to compensate
     the husbands for the added responsibility of taking care of a
   – Found in India, where sati and dowry murders exist
• Woman exchange
• Reciprocal exchange: 6%
        Modern Thai Bride Wealth
•   Modern Bride Wealth in
    Thailand: Following the initial
    greetings to her family we
    presented the bride wealth to
    Pook’s mom. The bride wealth
    consisted of 100,000 Baht in
    cash (approximately $2500
    USD) and two solid gold
    necklaces. Pook’s mom gave
    the necklaces back to us and
    we put them on and wore them
    for the remainder of the
    ceremony. (While the bride
    wealth price was 100,000 Baht,
    Pook's mom did what many
    Thai parents do these days and
    she gave back most of it,
    keeping only 30,000 Baht.)
                      Nuer Bride Wealth
           Primary Family of
                the Bride (20)

•      father of the bride
•      8 head:
•      3 cows and their 3 calves
       2 oxen
•      brother of another mother
•      2 cows
•      brother of the same
•      7 head:
•      2 oxen
       3 cows
       1 cow and its 1 calf
•      mother
•      1 cow and its 1 calf
       1 heifer

Siblings of bride’s mother- 10
Siblings of bride’s father- 10
• Rules and availability of
  divorce vary around world
• In places where love
  marriages are valued,
  divorce rates are
  generally higher.
        Patterns of residence
• Patrilocal: with or near husband’s father
• Matrilocal: With or near relatives of wife
• Avunculocal: With or near husband’s
  mother’s brother (4%)
• Ambilocal: choice of wife or husband’s
  relatives (9%)
• Neolocal: independent residence (5%)
      Who lives in the family
• Nuclear: based on
  marital ties
• Extended: based
  on blood ties
  among 3 or more

                      Bush Extended family
              Same Sex Marriage

On 4/7/09, the Vermont legislature passed a law which overrode
Governor Douglas’ veto permitting same sex marriage
• Read intro from Cultural Anthropology
  – What is a working definition of marriage?
  – What are the functions of marriage?
• Read excerpts on same sex marriages from
  Anthropology by Haviland and Anthropology by
  – According to Haviland, what are the main reasons
    people cite for opposing gay marriage? What is
    Haviland’s response to these concerns? Do you
  – According to Kottack, how would same sex marriage
    accomplish the 6 goals of marriage? Do you agree?
• Read Governor Douglas reasons for vetoing the same sex marriage
  bill along with congressman who opposed the bill.
• Read the arguments of those who supported it, such as
  congressmen and the Freedom to Marry task group
• Summarize the main arguments on both sides
• Prepare a 2-3 minute radio editorial in which you use
  anthropological concepts to support or oppose the same sex
  marriage bill.

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