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In social anthropology, patrilocal residence or patrilocality (also virilocal residence or virilocality) is a term referring to the social system in which a married couple resides with or near the husband's parents. The concept of location may extend to a larger area such as a village, town, or clan area. This practice is found in about 69 percent of the world's cultures that have been described ethnographically[citation needed]; yet, it is not prevalent in the modern world any more.

In a patrilocal society, when a man marries, his wife joins him in his father's home or compound, where they raise their children. These children will follow the same pattern: Sons will stay, and daughters will move in with their husbands' families. Families living in a patrilocal residence generally assume joint ownership of domestic sources. The household is led by a senior member, who also directs the labor of all other members.

Matrilocal residence may be regarded as the opposite of patrilocal residence. However, since the majority of societies exhibit at least some degree of patriarchy, in most matrilocal groups the brothers (or mothers' brothers) are the authority figures, not the wives or mothers themselves.

Early theories explaining the determinants of postmarital residence (e.g., Lewis Henry Morgan, Edward Tylor, or George Peter Murdock) connected it with the sexual division of labor. However, to date, cross-cultural tests of this hypothesis using worldwide samples have failed to find any significant relationship between these two variables. However, Korotayev's tests show that the female contribution to subsistence does correlate significantly with matrilocal (as opposed to patrilocal) residence in general; however, this correlation is masked by a general polygyny factor. Although an increase in the female contribution to subsistence tends to lead to matrilocal residence, it also tends simultaneously to lead to general non-sororal polygyny which effectively destroys matrilocality, and pushes a social system toward patrilocality. If this polygyny factor is controlled (e. g., through a multiple regression model), division of labor turns out to be a significant predictor of postmarital residence. Thus, Murdock's hypotheses regarding the relationships between the sexual division of labor and postmarital residence were basically correct, though, as has been shown by Korotayev, the actual relationships between those two groups of variables are more complicated than he expected (see, e.g., Korotayev A. Form of marriage, sexual division of labor, and postmarital residence in cross-cultural perspective: A reconsideration. Journal of anthropological research ISSN 0091-7710. 2003, Vol. 59, No. 1, pp. 69-89, Korotayev A. Division of Labor by Gender and Postmarital Residence in Cross-Cultural Perspective: A Reconsideration. Cross-Cultural Research. 2003, Vol. 37, No. 4, pp.335-372 DOI: 10.1177/1069397103253685).

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