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  • Types of power structures in the family

    Most family systems, in which extended families are considered the norm( for example, peasant families in Ireland) are patriarchal. This term refers to the power of men over other family members. This type of authority is generally accepted and often legalized in Thailand, Japan, Germany, Iran, Brazil and many other countries. Under the matriarchal family system, power belongs to the wife and mother by right. Such systems are rare. Even among the inhabitants of the Trobriand Islands, where the inheritance is passed along the women's line, wives do not have power over their husbands. In many families in patriarchal societies, women acquire informal power, but this is not the norm.

    In recent years, there has been a transition from a patriarchal to an egalitarian family system. This is mainly due to the increase in the number of working women in many industrialized countries. Under such a system, influence and power are distributed almost equally between the husband and wife.

    Preferred partner of

    The rules governing marriages outside certain groups( for example, families or clans) are rules of exogamy. Along with them, there are rules of endogamy, prescribing marriage within certain groups. Endogamy was characteristic of the caste system that developed in India. The most famous rule of endogamy is the prohibition of incest( incest), excluding marriage or sexual intercourse between persons who are considered close blood relatives. In almost all societies, this rule applies to the relationship between a child and a parent, as well as a brother and sister. In many societies, it applies even to cousins ​​and other close relatives. The prohibition of incest is not universal despite its widespread prevalence. Marriages between brothers and sisters were encouraged in the family of pharaohs in Ancient Egypt.

    Why is the prohibition of incest so widespread? This issue is the subject of heated debate. Some researchers have suggested that people are disgusted with incest. Others believe that people have long been aware of the danger of the genetic consequences of incest. Still others emphasized that rules prohibiting sexual intercourse between family members who are not spouses reduced the likelihood of jealousy and conflict. However, this argument loses credibility, given that many people are able to share a sexual partner with someone else without any jealousy. And polygyny, which often breeds rivalry between wives, persists despite conflicts. In addition, it was stressed that the prohibition of incest forced to seek a life partner outside the groups to which people belonged. However, none of these points of view has advantages over others, and discussion of these issues will certainly continue( Stephans, 1967).

    In Western countries, endogamy exists to a limited extent within racial groups( for example, American Negroes), religious groups( eg, Judaists) and social classes( people of aristocratic origin, in England).In some pre-industrial societies, marriages with members of another tribe are forbidden. Tribal endogamy creates stability within the tribe, as it does not lose its members and is not replenished by foreign people. But at the same time it can contribute to suspicion and dislike of "outsiders" whose customs and habits are unfamiliar. In some societies, the rules of endogamy and exogamy probably limit the possibilities of young people to a considerable extent. As already mentioned, among the inhabitants of the Trobriand Islands, a man must marry the daughter of his father's sister. This means that the potential for his choice is limited to only one or two women. Such a system to a great extent limits the number of potential partners for both men and women.

    Rule of residence choice

    In societies, there are different rules for choosing the residence of the newlyweds. In the US, most of them prefer a non-local residence - this means that they live separately from their parents. In societies where the norm is the patrilocal residence, the newly married woman leaves her family and lives in the family of her husband or near his parents' house. As we have already mentioned, according to the customs of Irish peasants, a young wife enters the husband's family and is under the power of her mother-in-law. In societies where the norm is matrilocal residence, the newlyweds must live with the parents of the bride or nearby.

    Non-local domicile, considered the norm in the West, is seldom found in the rest of the world. Only 17 out of 250 societies studied by Murdoch( 1949), the newlyweds moved to a new place of residence. The patrilocal residence was spread in societies where there was polygyny, slavery and often wars;members of these societies usually engaged in hunting and collecting plants. Matrolocal domicile was considered the norm in societies where women enjoyed the right to own land. Non-local domicile is associated with monogamy, a tendency towards individualism and an equal economic position for men and women.

    Pedigree and inheritance of property

    If a person could calculate all the people with whom he is related by blood( including ancestors and the most distant relatives), this list would be huge. The rules for determining the pedigree shorten this list and indicate which relatives play an important role in your life. There are three types of pedigree determination systems and property inheritance rules. The most common is the pedigree of the male line. As it is believed in rural Ireland, the main family ties exist between father, son and grandson. Although the wife has some kind of relationship with her relatives and her child inherits her genes to some extent, the children become members of her husband's family.

    In some cases, for example among the inhabitants of the Trobriand Islands, the relationship is determined by the female line. We are talking about systems for determining the pedigree along the line of the wife. As is customary on the Trobriand Islands, the newlyweds live in the village with their husbands, but the property and daily help comes through the wife's line. The property of the mother becomes the property of her daughter, and the wife's brother gives the main support to the young family. The way of family life on the Trobriand Islands is based on family ties on the male and female lines.

    In our society, a family system based on a two-sided pedigree has spread. It is generally accepted in 40 percent of world cultures. In such systems, in determining the relationship, blood relatives from the side of the father and mother are equally taken into account. However, with such a system, problems can arise. Numerous duties in relation to many relatives, for example, the need to visit them, give them gifts on solemn occasions and lend money, can become burdensome. Of course, this is quite acceptable for children who like to receive gifts from many uncles, aunts, and cousins.