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Marriage and Kinship

1) I know that in Europe and North America we are primarily of bilateral descent, but what does this mean? Does it simply mean we recognize descent from both our mother's and our father's sides of the family, or is there more to it, related to how it applies to American culture (meaning how does it work)?

2) What type of post-marital residence patterns do most U.S. households practice?

3) Why is matrilineal parallel cousin marriage forbidden in a matrilineal society?

4) What are two functions of cross-cousin marriage in a small-scale society? Why are these functions important in a small-scale society, but not so important in a large-scale society like the U.S.?

Solution Summary

The solution, discussing kinship, is an extensive & comprehensive 2,036-word solution that tackles the four questions posted in the original problem (see long description). Divided into four parts, the solution is divided into the following narratives/topics: Bilateral Descent, Post-Marital Patterns in the US, Matrilineal Parallel Cousin Marriage & Cross-Cousin Marriages - it's function in small societies. References in print and from the web are listed for the purpose of expansion. A word version of the solution is attached for easy download and printing.