Pitt ANTH 0701 - Chapter 5- Patterns of Family Relations

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Chapter 5- Patterns of Family RelationsIntroduction: Soap Operas and Family Relations- Family of Orientation- the family group that consists of ego and ego’s father, mother, and siblings- Family of Procreation- the family group that consists of a husband, a wife, and their children- Brazilian soap operas characters interact with family and friends however in American soaps, they interact with strangers- Focus on family life in three societies: The Ju/Wasi, The Trobriand Islanders of the South Pacific and the traditional Chinese farm familyo They represent very different levels of complexity o Family roles and structure vary among these three but they depict most societieso These three societies have been well studied in Anthro literature Question 5.1: What is the composition of the Typical Family Group?- Bilaterally (Bilateral Kinship)- A system in which individuals trace their decent through both parents - Nuclear Family: The Family group consisting of a father, mother and their biological or adopted children.- Matrilineal Kinship: A system of descent in which persons are related to their kin through the mother only - Patrilineal Kinship: A system in which persons are related to their kin through their father only The family of the Ju/Wasi- They live in groups numbering from 10-40 people - People move freely from camp to camp based on hunting alliances- Most camps are organized around bro/sis pairs who claim ownership of a waterhole- Brideservice: The requirement that when a couple marries, the group must work for the bridges parents for some specified period of timeThe family composition of the Trobriand Islanders - 80 villages, population of 40-400- Each village is divided into hamlets and each hamlet consists of a matrilineage- Matrilineage (Dala)- A lineage that is formed by tracing decent in the female line - Each village has a chief who is the eldest male of the highest ranking matrileage - When a person dies, they believe that the spirit becomes young and goes to live on an islandcalled Tomao Spirits travel back and forth between the land of the living and the land of the dead - A women can’t conceive without the permission of her brother- The act of conception among the Trobrianders is a matter of three agencieso A woman o The spirit or baloma of a deceased ancestoro The woman’s brother- Comparison to the Ju/Wasi : the key family relationship for the Ju/wasi is between the husband and wife as for the Trobrianders it is between the brother and sister- Extended Family (Dala)- A family group that based on blood relations of three or more generations - A man inherits property not from his father but from his mother’s brothers and it is ideally in this maternal uncles village that a young man goes to liveThe Family Composition of the Chinese- Patrilineage- A lineage that is formed by tracing decent in the male line - In China, the family includes a long line of patrilineal ancestors.- The identity of each male is defined by relations to the dead as much as it is by his relations to the living. Males’ social worth and destiny are but reflections of the actions of his ancestors. o The spirits of the dead depend on the contributions of the living. These contributions are ceremonially made at altar. (Ex: Burning paper money, paper clothes etc.)- Chinese express a preference for male children because to have a male descendent will look after a father’s well-being and provide for him in the afterworld. o Males are needed to maintain the patrilineal descent group to keep the family line.  This is why to have a son is a major happiness. - In China the ratio between males to females are 135:100 according to one study. It suggest that a larger portion of females had been killed. Question 5.2: How are families formed and ideal family types maintained?- Incest Taboo- A rule that prohibits sexual relations within certain categories of kin such as brothers or sisters, parents and children, or, in some cases, cousins. - Ideally a spouse should be chosen from an appropriate income, ethnic, gender, and racial group.The family Cycle of the Ju/wasi- Most young men and women have had sexual experiences by the time they were 15. - A Ju/wasi man usually marries for the first time between the ages of 18 and 25. o He gains a sex partnero He gains a mate to provide his foodo It marks him as an adult worthy of taking part in Ju/wai public life- Women gather 60 to 80% of the food in a camp- Women often marry as early as 12 to 14 years of age- The earlier a woman is married, the longer she and her husband will remain with her parents until she is of age and the longer her husband will work for her parents- A couples parents almost always arranges the marriageo The male approaches the family of the girl with a proposal o The families exchange gifts to indicate their agreement- People with the same first name consider themselves connectedo If two people are named Toma, then everyone related by kinship to one Toma will be considered related in the same way to the other Toma- Young women often object to the marriages or to their parents’ choice of a husbando Kicking and screaming are ways women demonstrate their objections. If they protest long and hard enough, the marriage will be called off. - Typically half of all first marriages fail among the Ju/wasiThe Cycle of the Trobriand Islanders- Children play erotic games at the ages of seven and eight and being seeking sex partners at ages 11-13. - Girls scratch, beat, thrash, or even wound their lovers; boys accept this treatments as a sign of love and display their wounds as a proof of manliness and success in courtship.- All Trobrianders belong to one of four clanso Clan- A unilineal descent group whose members claim descent from a common ancestor (OR) groups whose members consider themselves to be descended from a common ancestor.- They must observe exogamyo Exogamy- A rule that requires a person to marry someone outside one’s own group or clan.- There is no formal marriage ceremonyo Girl just stays overnight in her boyfriends houseo Next morning, brides mother brings the couple cooked yams to indicate the bides family’s approval, if the girls parents do not approve they will demand their daughter return home with them- The Trobrianders consider sharing food to be more intimate than having sex- Brideweath- The valuables that a groom or his family are expected or obligated to present to the brides family - During the first


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