The Family as an Institution

 Family
usually valued the most.
 Family life changing in Canada. Why?
 Rising divorce rates
 More single-parent families
 Same –sex couples
 Family
is universal among all societies,
but its form and that of the marriage that
brings about a family are not universal.
 Canadian
Society = Monogamy ( which a
person may have only one wife or
husband at a time.
 Polygamy:
One person can be married
to two or more members of the opposite
 There are two forms of polygamy; 1) polyandry 2) polygyny
 POLYANDRY: woman
marries two or
more men. Where is this seen?
 Tibet and among the Todas of southern India
a man can marry two or
more women at the same time.
 Seen in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other Islamic countries and
among some of the mormons of the United States.
 New
Guinea : among Banaro tribe, a women
can only marry after she has borne a child,
and the husband cannot be the father of the
 In
Nigeria: among the Igbo people, a
woman may take another women as a wife if
she can live up to the same financial
obligations as a male bridegroom. Wife may
have a baby by another man, but the female
husband has full paternity rights.
 Idea
of romantic love is relatively new in
western societies and has been uncommon
in practically all non-western societies until
 Arranged
 Younger people need the guidance of their older parents. Love
will develop as the couple settles down
 Exchange
of property
 Bride price
 Dowry
 Anthropologists say that in societies where women are valued, a
bride price is paid; in those in which they are not valued as
highly as men, a dowry is paid.
 Why
do we cringe at arranged
marriages? Are marriages for love really
that different?
 Western marriage may not be so different then
arranged marriages.
 Most partners have similar educational , ethnic, and
religious backgrounds and come from the same
social class.
 Nuclear
family: father, mother, children
living together.
 Extended family: a family unit consisting
of a husband, wife, children,
grandparents and other relatives
 Blended family: when one or both
partners in a marriage have children
from a previous marriage and combine
them to form a new family.
 Patrilineal
System: when relatives of a
family are deemed by society to be from
the father’s side.
 Matrilineal System: When relatives of a
family are deemed by society to be from
the mother’s side only
 Bilateral System: When relatives of a
family are deemed by society to be from
both parents’ sides.
 Is
the family as a an institution on the
decline in the Canada?
 Why or why not?

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