Marriage. Although traditionally marriages were arranged, today there is greater individual freedom of choice. Marriages are monogamous, and village exogamy is prevalent in the hinterland. In the past, "bride stealing" ( otmica ) was practiced in some parts of the hinterland. One form of bride stealing—with the consent of the bride, sometimes to avoid dowry—still occurs in some areas and is known as umicanje ( umakniti se , meaning "to remove"). Village exogamy is predominant in the hinterland. On the islands, village endogamy is common. Residence is patrilocal, matrilocal, or neolocal. The last form is necessarily prevalent when a couple moves from the village into the city; nevertheless, couples are strongly tied to their natal households not only economically but also psychologically. Traditionally, divorce was rare, but it is becoming more frequent in the urban centers.
Domestic Unit. The people who cook and eat meals around the same hearth and under the same roof (in the same house or kuća ) are considered a family ( obitelj, porodica ). The household is frequently made up of grandparents, parents, and children. Sometimes this may also include patrilateral uncles or brothers, along with their wives and children.
Inheritance. Traditionally land was owned and inherited patrilineally. All sons inherited an equal share of the land, while daughters would marry out without a dowry in land. In some cases, however, a piece of land might be given to the daughter as part of her dowry if there were no inheriting sons. In modern times, however, daughters have a legal right to Inherit an equal share as do their brothers, but in most cases they forgo their share in respect of custom.
Socialization. Most children are raised in three-generational households. Child care is divided between mothers and grandparents, who carry most of the burden because of the increased number of women in the work force. Socialization creates a sense of intergenerational dependency. Parents live for their children, and children believe that they should care for their aged parents.