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Chapter 10: Marriage, Family, and Household

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Reading Assignment: Chapter 10: Marriage, Family, and Household

In this assignment you will learn about the characteristics that marriage has in all societies and about the variations in marriage forms that are found throughout the world. You will learn about the functions that marriage fulfills, about the types of marriage that are most common under different circumstances, and about atypical forms of marriage that are found in some societies.

You also will learn about how marriages are established in different societies and about the forms that the family created by marriage has in different societies.

Assignment Overview

MCQ   ::  Matching   ::  True/False  ::   Short Essay

MCQ - Chapter 10: Marriage, Family, and Household

1. A general definition of marriage need NOT include reference to which of the following?

a. bride price
b. economic rights and responsibilities
c. sexual rights and responsibilities
d. establishment of inheritance rights for potential descendants

2. Which of the following is NOT a traditional function of marriage?

a. minimizing sexual competition
b. regulating inheritance rights
c. encouraging self-sufficiency
d. perpetuating a kinship group

3. According to data presented by Ford and Beach and in the Cultural Diversity Data Base, about what percentage of societies restrict marriage to monogamy?

a. about 15 percent
b. about 25 percent
c. about 33 percent
d. about 50 percent

4. According to Ford and Beach, about what percentage of societies prefer polygynous marriage?

a. about 20 percent
b. about 50 percent
c. about 67 percent
d. about 84 percent

5. Which of the following is most closely associated with the need to minimize the growth of families?

a. polygyny
b. polyandry
c. monogamy
d. ambilocal residence

6. Which of the following is NOT true of Sudanese Nuer ghost marriage?

a. It ensures a continuation of the family line of a male who dies without children.
b. It is an obligation of a dead male’s close male relatives.
c. It enlarges the family of the man who marries in behalf of a dead relative.
d. It creates anew the very circumstances which require ghost marriage.

7. Which of the following is true of the incest taboo?

a. It always forbids marriage between cousins.
b. It typically forbids sexual intercourse at least between parents and their children and between brothers and sisters.
c. It always applies to all members of society.
d. It applies to a broader range of persons than does a rule of exogamy.

8. Which of the following is true of exogamy rules?

a. They do not coexist with incest taboos.
b. They coexist with endogamy rules.
c. They apply to a broader range of persons than do incest taboos.
d. They do not coexist with marriage preference rules.

9. The dowry is most likely to be found in societies where:

a. women are important sources of income for families.
b. goods are inherited matrilineally.
c. women are economically nonproductive.
d. women are economically independent.

10. Virilocality (patrilocality) is LEAST likely to be found in societies where:

a. solidarity of the male group is very important.
b. women play a predominant role in food production.
c. hunting is primarily a male activity.
d. internal warfare is common.

Matching Exercise - Chapter 10: Marriage, Family, and Household

1. marriage
2. serial monogamy
3. polygamy
4. polygyny
5. group marriage
6. atypical marriage
7. symbolic marriages
8. common-law marriages
9. levirate
10. pathic marriages
11. mentorship

12. quasi-marriages
13. incest taboo
14. exogamy rules
15. endogamy rules
16. cross cousins
17. parallel cousins
18. bridewealth
19. dowry
20. family
21. extended families
22. neolocality
23. household



cousins whose common parents are either two brothers or two sisters



atypical marriages that obtain their legal status either by virtue of community consensus



a socially accepted sexual and economic union involving a lasting commitment between two or more people who have parental rights and obligations to any children of the union



cousins who are related through parents of the opposite sex who are usually brother and sister



a payment from the family of a bride to the family of her husband to compensate them for their acceptance of the responsibility of her support



a group of people who share a common residence



rules forbidding an individual from marrying a member of the kinship, residential, or other specified group to which he or she belongs



a rule that forbids sexual behaviors between designated kin, including but not limited to intercourse between parents and children and between siblings



any of several alternative forms of marriage that may coexist with the generally preferred marriage type in any society



the group that has responsibility for childrearing and that usually consists of married persons, their children



rules requiring marriage within specified kinship categories or other specified social or local groups to which one belongs



families that include two or more nuclear families and often their parents, who reside together



form of marriage between an older, socially established partner and a younger spouse of the same sex



those atypical marriages that do not establish economic and social ties between kinship groups



a rule that requires kin of a deceased man to provide his widow with another husband, often one of the deceased man's brothers



form of marriage in which two or more men are married to two or more women at the same time



a marriage pattern in which individuals of either sex may have only one spouse at a given time, but through divorce and remarriage may have several spouses during their lifetime



the custom of newly married couples setting up residence in a new location apart from either spouse's family



form of marriage in which a man has more than one wife



same-sex marriages involving gender-role change in one partner



form of marriage where a person is permitted to have more than one spouse at the same time



marriage-like relationships that, like atypical marriages, fulfill various functions of marriage but that are not regarded as “real” marriages by most members of society



Payments made by a husband’s family to his wife’s parents to recompense them for the loss of her productive and reproductive capacity.

True/False - Chapter 10: Marriage, Family, and Household






1. Husbands and wives do not share a common residence in some of the societies anthropologists have studied.



2. Sexual fidelity is always a cultural expectation in marriage.



3. More societies require marital fidelity of wives than do of husbands.



4. Monogamy is the preferred form of marriage in most of the societies that anthropologists have studied.



5. The Nayar of southern India placed no restrictions on a woman’s sexual freedoms.



6. Sororal polygyny is typically viewed as one way a man demonstrates his success.



7. Male-stratified polygyny is associated with subsistence economies in which male labor is the major source of income.



8. Group marriages are uncommon where polyandry is preferred.



9. Repeated cross-cousin marriage over generations reinforces economic and political ties among in-law families.



10. The primary economic function of the North American family is consumption.

Short Essay Questions - Chapter 10: Marriage, Family, and Household

1. Why is it difficult to define marriage in any simple way that would include the Nayar of India as a group that has marriages?

2. Under what conditions is sororal polygyny the common form of polygyny?

3. In what kinds of environments might polyandry be advantageous?

4. What was the social benefit of co marriage among the northern Alaskan Inuit?

5. What is meant by atypical marriage types?

6. What benefit might fictive marriages have in a society in which kinship is the major economic and political institution?

7. Describe the economic benefits that woman marriage has for the Nuer.

8. What are the four main historical types of theories that have attempted to explain the universality or near universality of the incest taboo.

9. How does the dowry differ from the indirect dowry?

10. How does the household differ from the family?

Copyright 2008, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource . admin. (2005, January 04). Chapter 10: Marriage, Family, and Household. Retrieved January 07, 2011, from Free Online Course Materials — USU OpenCourseWare Web site: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons License