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Anthropology Final Paper John La

Anthropology Final Paper John La - Page |1 John La Zhifang...

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P a g e | 1 John La Zhifang Song Final Paper Anthropology 263g The Chinese and Nuer Society Marriage, which is the social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments and religious ceremonies, has been practiced around the world since ancient times. Marriage has played a key role in many cultures in deciding where the bride and groom will reside. However, many diverse cultures have different traditions when it comes to residence after marriage. The Chinese and the Nuer are an example of two societies that practice different residence after marriage. Even though they are different in marriage traditions, the Chinese and Nuer societies are both segmentary lineage organizations. A segmentary lineage society is characterized by the organization of the society into separate segments. In these segmentary lineages, close kin (descendents of) stand together against more distant kin. In the Nuer society, close kin, such as agnates, descendents from the father’s side, and close relatives, tend to lose their bonds after marriage. However, the Chinese kin become closer through marriage; although, in some instances close kin may break up. In the Chinese society, marriage determines where the bride will live. It is a tradition in the Chinese society when a couple marries that the bride will move in with her husband’s family. This kind of marriage is known as a patrilocal marriage, in which the bride will live with her husband’s family. As a result, this allows agnates and other kin to be close to each other in communities since they will not be separated by marriage. It further allows the community to be closely related to each other since newlyweds will live with the groom’s family, therefore keeping the unity in the family. On the other hand, in the Nuer society, marriages allow the bride and groom to establish
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P a g e | 2 their home independent of both sets of relatives, thus separating close kin and other relatives into different communities. This kind of marriage practiced by the Nuer society is known as neolocal residence marriage, in which married couples are allowed to live independently from both sets of relatives. This separation after marriage loosens close family ties in communities, since newlyweds will not be living with either family. Thus, many people in Nuer societies are not closely related at all. Although, both societies are segmentary lineages, distinct marriage rituals
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