Chapter 7: Marriage, Family, and Kinship

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ambilineal descent

The rule of descent that affiliates individuals with groups of kin related to them through men and women.

avunculocal residence

A pattern of residence in which a married couple settles with or near the husband's mother's brother.

bilateral kinship

The type of kinship system in which individuals affiliate more or less equally with their mother's and father's residence.

bilocal residence

A pattern of residence in which a married couple lives with or near either the husband's parents or the wife's parents.

bride price

A substantial gift of goods or money given to the bride's kin by the groom or his kin at or before the marriage. (bride wealth)

bride service

Work performed by the groom for his bride's family for a variable length of time either before or after the marriage.

clan

A set of kin whose members believe themselves to be descended from a common ancestor or ancestress but cannot specify the links back to that founder; often designated by a totem (sib)

cross cousins

Children of siblings of the opposite sex. One's cross cousins are father's sisters' children and mother's brothers' children.

double descent

A system that affiliates an individual with a group of matrilineal kin for some purposes and with a group of patrilineal kin for other purposes.

dowry

A substantial transfer of goods or money from the bride's family to the bride.

ego

In the reckoning of kinship, the reference point or focal person.

endogamy

The rule specifying marriage to a person within one's own group.

exogamy

The rule specifying marriage to a person from outside one's own group.

extended family

A family consisting of two or more single-parent, monogamous, polygynous, or polyandrous families linked by a blood tie.

family

A social and economic unit consisting minimally of a parent and a child.

group marriage

Marriage in which more than one man is married to more than one woman at the same time; customary in any known human society.

incest taboo

Prohibition of sexual intercourse or marriage between mother and son, father and daughter, and brother and sister.

indirect dowry

Goods given by the groom's kin to the bride at or before her marriage.

kindred

A bilateral set of close relatives.

lineage

A set of kin whose members trace descent from a common ancestor through known links.

marriage

A socially approved sexual and economic union, usually between a man and a woman, that is presumed by both the couple and others to be more or less permanent, and that subsumes reciprocal rights and obligations between the two spouses and between spouses and their future children.

matrifocal family

A family consisting of a mother and her children.

matrilineal descent

The rule of descent that affiliates individuals with kin of both sexes related to them through women only.

matrilocal residence

A pattern of residence in which a married couple lives with or near the wife's parents.

moiety

A unilineal descent group in a society that is decided into two such maximal groups; there may be smaller unilineal descent groups as well.

monogamy

Marriage to only one spouse at a time, usually one man and one woman.

neolocal residence

A pattern of residence whereby a married couple lives separately, and usually at some distance, from the kin of both spouses.

nonsororal polygyny

Marriage of a man to two or more women who are not sisters.

nuclear family

A family consisting of a married couple and their young children.

parallel cousins

Children of sibling of the same sex. One's parallel cousins are father's brothers' children and mother's sisters' children.

patrilineal descent

The rule of descent that affiliates an individual with kin of both sexes related to him or her through men only.

patrilocal residence

A pattern of residence in which a married couple lives with or near the husband's parents.

phratry

A unilineal descent group composed of a number of supposedly related clans.

polyandry

The marriage of one woman to more than one man at a time.

polygamy

Plural marriage; marriage to more than one spouse simultaneously.

polygyny

The marriage of one man to more than one woman at a time.

postpartum sex taboo

Prohibition of sexual intercourse between a couple for a period of time after the birth of their child.

rules of descent

Rules that connect individuals with particular sets of kin because of known or presumed common ancestry.

siblings

A person's brothers and sisters.

sororal polygyny

The marriage of a man to two or more sisters at the same time.

totem

A plant or animal associated with a clan as a means of group identification; may have other special significance for the group.

unilineal descent

Affiliation with a group of kin through descent links of one sex only.

unilocal residence

A pattern of residence that specifies just one set of relatives that the married couple lives with or near.

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