Friday, January 6, 2012

Alliance

Alliance refers to a system whereby descent groups or other kin groups are linked by the rules of an affinal relationship with one another generation after generation.It was Levi-Strauss who highlighted the role and importance of alliance in kinship systems.He begins with the explanation of a universal phenomenon: the prohibition of incest.

The prohibition of incest is the fundamental step because of which the transition from nature to culture is accomplished.In any society,incest prohibitions constitute the basis for the distribution of women because they imply at the same time a principle of reciprocity.

According to this principle once men are forbidden to have sexual relationship with their own women because of incest taboos they are forced to exchange them for others thus entering into marital alliances with other groups.Thus it is always a sytem of exchange that emerges as the fundamental and common basis of all modalities of the institution of marriage.

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