BRIDEWEALTH: (progeny price) A gift from the husband and his kin

advertisement

The basic social building blocks

in most societies are kinship systems and/or household forms:

(families).

They are very important units for cross-cultural understanding

• variations of marriage (cross-culturally)

• issues of

sexuality

and

reproductive capacity of women and men.

gender relations domestic violence divorce patterns changes in household and kinship systems

Household forms

Nuclear

---

a couple (usually a man and a woman) living together with or without their unmarried children.

Extended families

---nuclear family plus later generations

(the children of the children also live in the household )

In North America nuclear families are declining rapidly

• women independency

• work patterns

• high rate of divorce

Most people

belong to at least two nuclear families in their lifetime

.

family of orientation

and

family of procreation.

Plural marriages

• Or Polygamy

• a

. Polygyny

: more than one wife

• b.

Polyandry

: more than one husband

The practice of men marrying later than women promotes Polygyny among the

Kanury

people of

Bornu, Nigeria

(Cohen 1967)

between 18 and 30 years of age

women between 12-14

more widows than widowers

Polyandry is more rare

than polygyny

Found in

Tibet, parts of India,

Nepal and Sri-Lanka

.

Fraternal polyandry

Bridewealth and Dowry

Bridewealth

compensates the wife’s group for the lost of companionship and labour.

Dowry,

on the other hand, is a marital exchange in which the wife’s kin provides gifts to the husband’s family.

Polyandry

• The case of the

Pahari people

of the

Himalayas in India

• West and Central regions differences

shortage of females in west Pahari.

Infanticid

e

joined the Buddhist nuns

Discussion Questions

Why do you think “fraternal polyandry” is socially acceptable in Tibet but not in our society?

• What are the pros and cons of arranged marriages versus freedom of choice?

B

ridewealt

h and Dowry

Download