Incest and Family Structure

Essay by salman81 August 2007

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Comparative sociologists studied the functions as well as structural attributes of families, household composition, and family dynamics as did anthropological studies of the era. In addition they well thought-out other emotional and psychological issues like love (Goode 1959). Sociologist’s main attention was on variations across time as well as national, ethnic, and class lines, they gave little importance studies of across cultures.

The incest taboo can disclose the real meaning of society because it is responsible for constituting society. The ambiguity of the incest taboo that has for so long confused anthropologists is still not reveled whilst it is seen as establishing a structure of exchanges among separate groups. As it is practically universal---some constraints on marriage are found in each and every society---the incest taboo has the impulsiveness of a natural desire. However since it is not a biological need (and Lévi-Strauss demonstrates this extremely convincingly via the case of cross-cousin marriage, which is a desire and not a need, while parallel-cousin marriage is better choice as that could be done to fulfill need and just a desire ) it partakes of a law, of a cultural obligation.

The incest taboo is not so much a harmful restriction on the pool of marriage partners as a assurance that one group will gives its daughters to another group to fulfill the needs , as long as that the other group does the same. For Lévi-Strauss---and this is for the most part vital for family theory (Lévi-Strauss 1971)---the incest taboo prevents the marital family from dying in on itself as well as gives assurance to the fact that the wider society will definitely take preference over the family by means of marrying out side the family this group could be called non-family groups. The course of impact of the incest taboo...