Basic functions of marriage

  1. establishment of an infants's social legitimacy and identity,
  2. parental responsibility for long term child rearing,
  3. social regulation of sexual activity,
  4. sexual division of labor,
  5. development of exchange and alliance bonds to otherwise unrelated groups
(Possible exception - the Nayar)
(Also see Duran Bell 1997 Defining marriage and legitimacy)

Basic rules that control marriage

  • Exogamy - out-marriage, prohibitions on marital relationships between relatives.

  • Endogamy - in-marriage, regulations that require marriage within communities and social groups.