Family and Marrige


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Family and Marrige

  1. 1. Family: Marriage Across Cultures Social Institutions Unit 6
  2. 2. Defining Family • Family has become very difficult to define, different laws define it in different ways  For sociologists, it is defined as a group of people who are related by marriage, blood or adoption  Families are a complex social units • In terms of social institutions, the family has the most impact on individual behavior
  3. 3. Defining Family cont’ • Family of Orientation: family you are born into, provides you with a name, identity and heritage  It provides an ascribed status in the community  Family of orientation “orients” children to their neighborhood, community, and society • Family of Procreation: family created in marriage  Marriage: a legal union based on mutual rights and obligations • The marriage ceremony symbolizes that it is legal for a couple to have offspring and pass on the family name • The family of procreation then becomes a family of orientation
  4. 4. Two Basic Families • Nuclear Family: a family structure made up of a parent(s) and children  This is the smallest family unit • Extended Family: two or more adult generations of the same family whose members share economic resources and a common household  It can contain close relatives – grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins
  5. 5. How did Family Develop • The earliest societies (hunting & gathering) were based on nuclear families • When societies switched to agricultural societies large families were need to work the farm, which led to the development of extended families • As society moved from agricultural to industrial, extended families became replaced with nuclear families again
  6. 6. Patterns of Family Structure • Whether you are looking at nuclear or extended families, the pattern of behavior for families is similar throughout cultures  There are similarities in inheritance, authority, and place of residence
  7. 7. Who Inherits? • Determining who becomes the head of household for the purpose of descent and family property • There are 3 Types of Arrangements  Patrilineal: descent and inheritance are passed from the father to his male descendents • Example: Iran and Iraq  Matrilineal: descent and inheritance are transmitted from the mother to her female descendents • Example: Pueblo Tribes  Bilateral: descent and inheritance are passed equally through both parents • Example: United States
  8. 8. Who has Authority? • There are 3 Patterns for determining family authority  Patriarchy: the eldest man in the household has authority over the rest of the family members • The father is the absolute ruler: Iraq, China  Matriarchy: the oldest women in the household holds the authority • There is controversy over whether or not there are any societies that have a matriarchal structure  Egalitarian: control and authority is split evenly between husband and wife • United States and Scandinavia
  9. 9. Where do Couples Live? • The location of where new couples set up their home also varies by culture  Patrilocal: live near or with the husband’s parents  Matrilocal: live near or with the wife’s parents • Ex. The Nayar caste of Southern India  Neolocal: married couples establish a residence on their own (if finances allow it)
  10. 10. Marriage Arrangements • Depending on the culture, a marriage ceremony and the arrangements that follow are very different  Wherever the ceremony takes place it announces that a man and woman have become husband and wife, and that any children born to the couple can be legitimately inherit the family name and property
  11. 11. Forms of Marriage • Monogamy: the marriage of one man to one woman  It is the only legal form of marriage in the US and most of the western world  Serial Monogamy: having several husbands or wives but never at the same time • Polygamy: the marriage of a male or female to more than one person at a time  Two forms: polygny (1 man, 2 or more women) and polyandry (1 woman and 2 or more men)
  12. 12. Choosing a Mate • All cultures have norms and laws about who they may marry  Exogamy: refers to mate selection outside of one’s group • The most important norm for this form of marriage is incest taboo (marriage of family)  Endogamy: involves mate selection that requires individuals to marry within their own kind (example: people of the same race or social class)  Homogamy: the tendency to marry someone similar to oneself (people choose those w/ social characteristics similar to theirs)  Heterogamy: marriage between two people of differing characteristics