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The Anthropology of Marriage in Lowland South AmericaBending and Breaking the Rules$
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Paul Valentine, Stephen Beckerman, and Catherine Alès

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780813054315

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813054315.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 27 May 2022

Marriage Matsigenka Style

Marriage Matsigenka Style

Some Critical Reflections on Theories of Marriage Practices

(p.15) 1 Marriage Matsigenka Style
The Anthropology of Marriage in Lowland South America

Dan Rosengren

University Press of Florida

Rosengren critiques Lévi-Strauss’s (1969) formalized analytical models by targeting the way his structural model of reciprocal exchange does not correspond to Matsigenka palpable reality. Rosengren calls for scholars to move on from Lévi-Strauss’s grand design and describe “people as intentional subjects situated in the everyday world of their own experience.” He concludes that Matsigenka rules are less a normative system that governs people’s behavior and more a discursive convention. For instance, people who are mutually attracted define each other as cross-cousins. Sometimes Matsigenka marry their cross-cousins, but that is more a consequence of them coming into contact with one another more frequently, than obedience to the rule that the Matsigenka marry their cross-cousins. The implication of his work is that the cross-cousin exchange rules may be shorthand for approximating the unintentional patterns that arise from strategies informed by residence preferences.

Keywords:   Matsigenka, cross-cousin exchange rules, Lévi-Strauss

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