Patrilocal Residence

Patrilocal residence is structured by a rule that a man remains in his father's house after reaching maturity and brings his wife to live with his family after marriage. Daughters, conversely, move out of their natal household when they marry.

Patrilocal Residence, Stage I.

In the initial stages of household development a married son (C) brings his wife (G) into his father's household, while a married daugher (F) leaves to reside with her husband.

Patrilocal Residence, Stage II

As a new generation is added to the original household, adult married sons (D, J, K, M) continue to reside with their fathers and bring in their wives. Daughters (E,F,N) leave upon marriage. A patrilocal extended family of three generations has developed, including common male members of the founder's (A) patrilineage, and wives from a number of different lineages.

Patrilocal Residence, Stage III

Another generation of children increases the membership of the extended family household.

Patrilocal extended families assume their functions in terms of joint ownership of productive domestic resources, usually under control of a household head, who also directs the labour of all household members. As household size increases in each generation, the the organization of working groups becomes unwieldy and domestic conflicts increase. These problems lead to an eventual division or segmentation of the household and the begining of a new domestic cycle for each component group. The dynamics of segmentation and the domestic cycle may differ considerably from society to society, as evident in Turkish villages and among the Igbo of West Africa.

Brian Schwimmer
University of Manitoba
Date created: September 1995