Occitans - Kinship, Marriage, and Family



Kinship. Descent is bilaterally reckoned, but with a patrilateral emphasis. The patronym is passed on to offspring.

Marriage. Occitanie is a Christian, predominantly Catholic, region, and marriage rules reflect this fact. Monogamy is both the moral and legal norm. Local endogamy is the most common pattern of spousal selection, but it is not specifically prescribed. Divorce, although it does occur, is not approved.

Domestic Unit. Both the nuclear family and the extended family are commonly encountered, with the extended family (broadly speaking, a nuclear family with at least one collateral- or ascendant-generation family member coresident in the household) being more common in rural villages than in urban centers. A newly married son and his spouse may live with the son's parents for a short time immediately after Marriage. Postmarital residence with the parents of either spouse, however, is explicitly linked to the particular economic necessities faced by the newly married couple, not to socioCulturally defined conditions of propriety.

Socialization. Preschool-age offspring receive their primary care from both parents, although the assumption is that the mother is responsible for most of the day-to-day childcare duties. Children attend local schools, but secondary and postsecondary education may entail leaving the home Community, depending on the locally available educational resources. Higher education has tended to emphasize "Official" (i.e., northern French) language and culture—a situation that the regionalist movements of Occitanie have attempted to resist, particularly in the last three decades.


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