The most important reasons for marriage include the need to find the life-long sexual partner, have children, and share parental responsibilities. Financial benefits have also been of the most influential reasons for marriage for many centuries.
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The difference between exogamy and endogamy
Exogamy refers to marriage to a person that belongs to another social group. All societies have rules of exogamy as they are needed to determine the relatives that are regarded as forbidden marriage and sexual partners. Endogamy refers to marriage to a person that belongs to the same social group. The rules of endogamy are also used in most societies. People are often encouraged or forced to marry those who belong to the same ethnic and religious group.
The 3 ranges of social distance in reference to marriage
The three ranges of social distance include Exogamous Group (close relatives forbidden for marriage partners), Endogamous Group (intermediate-range of relatives, associates, and allies considered appropriate for marriage partners), and Outsiders (outer range of outsiders with whom marriage should be avoided).
The ranges of social distance are found among Yanomamo society
Six ranges of social distances are found in Yanomamo society. They include The Localized Patrilineal Moiety, The Village Settlement, Marriage Alliances, Feasting Alliances, Trading Alliances, and Enemies.
The difference between cross-cousins and parallel-cousins
Parallel cousins are the children of the parent’s same-sex sibling (the father’s brother or the mother’s sister) while cross-cousins are the children of the parent’s opposite-sex sibling (the mother’s brother or the father’s sister). Parallel cousins, both matrilateral and patrilateral, belong to a person’s descent group, while cross-cousins do not. Cross-cousin marriages are common in numerous cultures. Parallel-cousin marriages are also sometimes encouraged in certain societies, as such unions help to keep the heritage within the lineage. However, such marriages are often considered to fall under incest taboo while cross-cousin unions do not.
Avunculocal residence, common in matrilineal societies, is the pattern involving following certain rules of organizing the way of dealing with the residence issues. According to these rules, women and take up residence with their husbands and children take up residence with their fathers till adulthood. Adult sons move to their mothers’ brothers’ houses, and daughters move to their husbands’ houses after marriage.
Distinguishing between matrilineal, patrilineal, and bilateral kinship systems according to Schwimmer
Schwimmer defines a matrilineal kinship system as the system in which all family members are related through the person’s mother. The patrilineal kinship system is defined as the system in which all family members are related through the person’s father. The bilateral kinship system is defined as the one that makes no distinction between patrilineal and matrilineal relatives.
The difference between consanguineal and affinal relations
Consanguineal relations reflect the relationships by blood while affinal relations reflect relationships by marriage. Therefore, consanguine is the relative by birth or the one having the common ancestor with the person. Affines are those relatives that attain kin relationships after marriage (often called “in-laws”).
The heir to the throne in Ashanti Kingdom of West Africa
In such matrilineal societies as the Ashanti Kingdom of West Africa, the heir to the throne is the son of the king’s sister. Therefore, this kingdom presents an example of using the matrilineal system while most societies have developed within a patrilineal system. The rareness of the matrilineal system explains the causes of mistakes made by British emissaries to Ashanti, who invested money and effort in the king’s son without realizing that he had no rights to the throne.