Aquitaine - Kinship, Marriage, and Family



Kin Groups and Descent. The nuclear family predominates in both rural and urban areas. Extended family units can be found in the countryside and among low-income groups in cities. Descent is recognized equally through both male and female lines.

Kinship Terminology. Kin terms follow the Eskimo system.

Marriage. Men and women in the countryside typically marry in their early twenties; marriage in urban areas is often delayed until later because of the demands of education and career. Postmarital residence is almost exclusively neolocal. Marriage laws date from the Napoleonic era and tend to favor the rights of men. Divorce and remarriage have become common.

Domestic Unit. The nuclear household is the most Common domestic unit, although extended households can be found in rural and urban areas. Although many scholars argue that households in the past were large because of the need for agricultural labor, this is a topic of great debate.

Inheritance. In the past, it was common for men to inherit the family farm while daughters were given a dowry. Today, men and women have equal claims to the family estate.

Socialization. The primary means of socialization are the family, school, and peer groups. Elders no longer command the esteem and authority that they once did.


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