a203-11f-19-FamilyKinshipDescent

Patrilineal identified by last name theoretically

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- patrilineal, identified by last name - theoretically descended from some shared, founding ancestor, but most or all cannot actually trace ancestry to a specific person - since early 1800’s, also identified by a shared tartan (plaid pattern in cloth) - if you are a Fitzpatrick and meet someone wearing the Fitzpatrick tartan, you immediately feel kinship with him/her - rules about who you can marry: - incest : prohibited in all societies - except special cases like within some royal families, Egyptian pharaohs, etc. - one of the very few apparent universals in human culture - but specifically which relatives are considered too close to marry varies - some societies see first cousins (parent’s sibling’s kids) as too close, thus incestuous - other societies see cousins as the ideal marriage partners - not too close to marry, but not strangers, either - still within the trusted circle of well-connected relatives - many Americans think that first-cousin marriage is not only repugnant, but also dangerous - Americans generally think that cousins risk having children with genetic disorders
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Intro to Cultural Anthro S 2011 / Owen: Family and kinship p. 5 - But in fact, the genetic risk of first cousin marriage is pretty small - a 2002 meta-study (Bennett, Motulsky, et al., Journal of Genetic Counseling ) found that first-cousin marriages have about a 1.7 to 2.8% higher risk of producing children with genetic disorders than do marriages of non-relatives - This is part of how we construct our ideas of marriage and incest - Using supposedly medical (but really unfounded) beliefs to rationalize an essentially arbitrary cultural construct - first cousin marriage is legal in about half of the US states - fully allowed: 19 states, including California - limited (requires counseling before approval, or only allowed for older couples, etc.): 15 states - not allowed: 16 states - no other western country prohibits first cousin marriage - extreme example of cultural construction of incest rules: the Lakher (or Mara, of Mizoram in easternmost India) - extremely patrilineal - a child is not considered related to its mother’s relatives at all - if a boy’s mother divorces, remarries, and has a daughter with a different man… - the two children of the same mother are not related through any male relative - so they are not related at all - so they can marry - what we would consider incest between half-siblings - point: even the prohibition of incest, a cultural universal, is culturally constructed - exogamy : rule that you must marry outside of your own group - must specify what group is meant - matrilineage exogamy (marry outside your matrilineage) - clan exogamy (marry outside your clan) - village exogamy (marry outside your village), etc. - endogamy : rule that you must marry within your own group - again, must specify what group is meant - rules may combine both exogamy and endogamy - as in clan exogamy with village endogamy, etc. - Economic aspects of marriage - bridewealth (formerly called brideprice ): payment from groom or groom’s relatives to relatives of bride - compensates the bride’s relatives for the loss of her company, work, property, and future children - often incurs long-term obligations -
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