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Anthropolgy - Essay Example

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Introduction Marriage is considered as a culturally complex phenomenon in which biological relationships of individuals just play a small role. The interconnecting cultural, social as well as economic factors make marriage a relatively complex phenomenon which requires a deeper understanding of how such factors interact with each other…
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Download file to see previous pages... It is also a strategic alliance with diversified range of objectives and goals to be achieved. The practice of exogamy is relatively old practice with Greeks even involved in the marriages outside one’s kinship as a way to form strategic alliances with other families. The overall purpose of such marriages may be relatively diverse and different however, the strategic alliances through marriages signified a greater shift from the established patterns of kinship. Marriage through exogamy therefore no longer remained as typical marriages between two individuals. This paper will explore the notion of whether in certain societies marriage is not a matter of choice but a strategic alliance between families. With ethnographic emphasis on India and Saudi Arabia, this paper will outline the ethnographic case studies of these two cultures. Kinship & Marriage The exact meaning of the word kinship is still debatable however; it signifies a complex web of relationships which actually govern the human life in any given society. The kinship actually forms that complex web of relationships which is being faced by the humans in their ordinary course of life in societies where they live.( Holy,1996) On a closer analysis, kinship therefore may also refer to what humans do in such ordinary course of their life such as parenting, gestation, reproduction, mating, socialization etc. however, from the perspective of anthropology, it may be suggested that kinship is the study of such relationships within themselves or across human cultures where humans living in two different cultures actually relate with each other according to the customs and cultural norms of that society.( Bates and Plog 1990) Few of the underlying concepts of kinship include family as well as marriage wherein family is considered as basic unit. A family is considered as a group of people who are either related with each other due to birth, marriage or shared consumption. Due to its typical nature, it is also considered as the primary unit for children to socialize besides developing an economically productive household. Underlying this concept of family is also marriage which outlines the affinity and is often considered as the recognized union or contract between two persons which outline their rights and obligations between themselves and with their children.( Fox,1967) Since the overall nature of the concept of kinship is so diverse that it also suggests a similarity or affinity between the entities on the basis of certain characteristics. As such the relationships which emerge due to kinship can be either through blood or through relationships. As such the social organization of community often depends upon how the overall relationships between people are governed through kinship in that society. This complex web of social relationships and how people actually relate with each other clearly depends upon kinship. Marriage is one of the characteristics of kinship which outline how such social relationships between individuals can actually emerge and develop. A marriage is considered a legal contract or recognized union between the individuals which establishes certain rights and obliga ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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