where do emmanuel todd’s family types come from?

from long-term mating patterns. there. i said it! (~_^)

just to remind everybody — emmanuel todd is a french historian/anthropologist/demographer/sociologist/political scientist who, amongst other things, has (more or less correctly, imho) noticed a connection between family types (nuclear, extended, clan, etc.) and ideology (capitalism, communism, christianity, islam, etc.). see his The Explanation of Ideology: Family Structures and Social Systems (and my previous post “l’explication de l’idéologie”).

here is a summary of todd’s family types, where he found them, and some of their fundamental characteristics and related ideologies (again, see previous post for more — see also this chart from craig willy):

absolute nuclear family
– no cohabitation of married children with their parents
– no marriage between the children of brothers
– anglo-saxons, netherlands, denmark
– christianity, capitalism, ‘libertarian’ liberalism, feminism

egalitarian nuclear family
– no cohabitation of married children with their parents
– no marriage between the children of brothers.
– northern france, northern italy, central and southern spain, central portugal, greece, romania, poland, latin america, ethiopia
– christianity (catholicism); the “liberte, egalite, fraternite” form of liberalism

authoritarian family
– cohabitation of the married heir with this parents
– little or no marriage between the children of two brothers
– germany, austria, sweden, norway, belgium, bohemia, scotland, ireland, peripheral regions of france, northern spain, northern portugal, japan, korea, jews, romany gypsies
– socialism/bureaucratic socialism or social democracy, catholicism. fascism sometimes, various separatist and autonomous (anti-universalist) movements (think german federalism)

exogamous community family
– cohabitation of married sons and their parents
– no marriage between the children of two brothers
– russia, yugoslavia, slovakia, bulgaria, hungary, finland, albania, central italy, china, vietnam, cuba, north india (note that many of these countries, the eastern european ones, also have a tradition of marrying young)
– communism

endogamous community family
– cohabitation of married sons with their parents
– frequent marriage between the children of brothers
– arab world, turkey, iran, afghanistan, pakistan, azerbaijan, turkmenistan, uzbekistan, tadzhikistan
– islam

asymmetrical community family
– cohabitation of married sons and their parents
– prohibition on marriages between the children of brothers, but a preference for marriages between the children of brothers and sisters
– southern India
– hinduism; a variety of communism unlike that found elsewhere

anomic family
– cohabitation of married children with their parents rejected in theory but accepted in practice
– consanguine marriage possible and sometimes frequent
– burma, cambodia, laos, thailand, malaysia, indonesia, philippines, madagascar, south-american indian cultures

african systems
– instability of the household
– polygyny
_____

the fundamental pattern here is that the family types run from small (and individualistic) to large (and communal) — from nuclear families through to community families. the underlying fundamental pattern — the causal factor — is that the long-term mating patterns run from outbreeding to greater and greater levels of inbreeding (to inbreeding+polygamy in many african societies).

as i said in a previous post where do clans come from?:

“the presence (or absence) of clans in societies is somehow connected to the mating patterns of societies. in fact, it seems to be that a whole range of kinship-based societal types is somehow connected to a whole range of mating patterns: the ‘closer’ the mating patterns in a society, the more ‘clannish’ it tends to be — the more distant the mating patterns, the less ‘clannish.’

“so we see a spectrum of ‘clannish’ societies ranging from the very individualistic western societies characterized by nuclear families and, crucially, very little inbreeding (cousin marriage, for instance) to very tribal arab or bedouin societies characterized by nested networks of extended families and clans and large tribal organizations and having *very high* levels of inbreeding (specifically a form of very close cousin marriage which increases the degree of inbreeding). falling somewhere in between these two extremes are groups like the chinese whose society is built mostly around the extended familiy but in some regions of china also clans — or the medieval scots (especially the highland scots) whose society for centuries was built around the clan (h*ck, they even coined the term!). these ‘in-betweener’ groups are, or were, characterized by mid-levels of inbreeding (typically avoiding the very close cousin marriage form of the arabs).”
_____

running through todd’s types:

– the absolute nuclear family found in anglo-saxons (the english), the netherlands, and denmark. todd notes that there is no marriage between the children of brothers in societies where this family type is found. in fact, there has been very little cousin marriage of ANY sort in these “core european” societies since the middle ages (see “mating patterns in europe series” below ↓ in left-hand column) — especially in (southern) england and (parts of) the netherlands (i don’t know about denmark). these are the areas of northwest europe — of probably the world — that have been outbreeding the most, since the early part of the medieval period — and they have the smallest families and are the greatest individualists (although i’m not so sure about the danes…).

– the egalitarian nuclear family found in northern france, northern italy, central and southern spain, central portugal, greece, romania, poland, latin america, and ethiopia. again, todd notes there there is no marriage between the children of brothers in these societies, but the key — at least as far as the european societies here go — is that they, too, have mostly been avoiding ALL forms of cousin marriage for a very long time — but NOT QUITE as long, or for as much, as the peoples of the low countries/southern england. The Outbreeding Project of the europeans (as i like to call it) really got going earliest amongst the franks (and the anglo-saxons in kent who had close ties to the franks), and it spread out in all directions across europe from there. so, the populations closest to the early medieval frankish heartland (other parts of northern france, northern italy, spain, portugal) are just one family type step away from the absolute nuclear family — and individualistic, but not as individualistic as the english or dutch. (for more details on these other european countries see “mating patterns in europe series” below ↓ in left-hand column.) i don’t yet know enough about the mating patterns of latin america or ethiopia.

– the authoritarian family, which is a type of stem family (nuclear family+grandparents), found in germany, austria, sweden, norway, belgium, bohemia, scotland, ireland, peripheral regions of france, northern spain, northern portugal, japan, korea, jews, and romany gypsies. todd notes that there is little or no marriage between the children of brothers in these populations, but again, most of the european countries/regions included here have avoided ALL cousin marriage for centuries. HOWEVER, they were mostly part a LATER — sometimes much later (e.g. ireland, highland scotland) — wave in The Outbreeding Project, just like the european egalitarian nuclear families above (for more details see “mating patterns in europe series” below ↓ in left-hand column). the japanese, too, began outbreeding quite latevery late, i believe (but i need to find out more). i don’t know enough about the koreans or jews (i assume todd means ashkenazi jews?) to say. in general, gypsies inbreed (marry their cousins) A LOT. so, as the extent of long-term inbreeding increases, the family size begins to increase.

– the exogamous community family found in russia, yugoslavia, slovakia, bulgaria, hungary, finland, albania, central italy, china, vietnam, cuba, and north india. todd notes that there is no marriage between the children of brothers in these groups, but in most of the eastern europeans populations here (not sure about finland or hungary), The Outbreeding Project arrived much later than in northwestern europe, and marriage between maternal cousins was not unusual in the medieval period (see “mating patterns in europe series” below ↓ in left-hand column). in some of these groups — like the albanians — maternal cousin marriage is probably still common today, or was until very recently. parts of italy, too, especially the farther south you go. maternal cousin marriage was common in china, especially in the south, for millennia (see “mating patterns in asia series” below ↓ in left-hand column). i don’t know enough about the vietnamese or cubans to say. the northern indians (the hindus) tend to avoid cousin marriage, but marry within castes, of course. so we see again that, the longer the history of cousin marriage, the larger the family size. most of these groups have been marrying cousins for several hundreds of years longer than northwestern europeans, and they have large “community” families.

– the endogamous community family found in the arab world, turkey, iran, afghanistan, pakistan, azerbaijan, turkmenistan, uzbekistan, and tajikistan. todd notes that there is frequent marriage between the children of brothers. that is absolutely correct — father’s brother’s daughter (fbd) marriage, which probably originated in the levant, was exported into the arabian peninsula, and spread out from there when the arabs conquered the middle east, north african, and many of the “-stans.” and it just so happens that fbd marriage leads to the greatest degrees of inbreeding possible — and, therefore, these populations have some of the largest family sizes possible (clans and tribes).

– the asymmetrical community family found in southern india. todd notes that maternal cousin marriage is preferred here, and the rates of cousin marriage in southern india — and uncle-niece marriage — are very high. so again, lots of close marriages leads to large, community families.

– the anomic family found in burma, cambodia, laos, thailand, malaysia, indonesia, philippines, madagascar, and south-american indian cultures. todd says that consanguineous marriages are permitted and “sometimes frequent” in these populations — and that adult children often live with their parents (so these families are larger than nuclear families). i don’t know much about the mating patterns in any of these groups, but if consanguineous marriages are frequent in them, it’s not surprising to find large family sizes.

african family systems found in sub-saharan africa. todd describes them as unstable and polygynous. i know that cousin marriage is common in some but not in others, but i don’t know many details. we shall have to wait and see on sub-saharan africa.
_____

but hbd chick — maybe populations with large family sizes simply favor close marriages? perhaps it’s all just a coincidence!

no, it’s definitely NOT a coincidence, and we can know that the causal direction is from long-term mating patterns to family size (and various ideologies), because we have the example of europe to show us that.

BEFORE northwest europeans started outbreeding (avoiding cousin marriage) on a regular basis — in the pre-christian era — they had large families — kindreds and clans and tribes (for more details see “general” section and “mating patterns in europe series” below ↓ in left-hand column). and the groups that have been OUTBREEDING THE LONGEST — the english and the dutch (and the danes?) — have the smallest family sizes — and are the most individualistic. and the groups that started outbreeding later — for example the irish and the highland scots — they had larger families and even clans until well into the medieval period. same for eastern europe. and in the balkans, many of those groups are still marrying cousins today (or up until very recently), and they still have extended families and clans.

it’s not clear exactly what the mechanism is, but it must be biological and is, no doubt, related to the concept of inclusive fitness. the natural analogy (heh – see what i did there?) to draw would be to ants and the other eusocial insects (although i know many myrmecologists/entymologists don’t like to connect eusociality and inclusive fitness) — many of the individuals in these insect populations are very closely related, and, so (probably), they come together in very large family groups. other parallels might be to naked mole rats versus other mole rats or to meerkats, but i don’t know the mating patterns/genetic relatedness in those species.

however it actually works, the general pattern is clear: the closer the long-term mating patterns, the larger the family size (and the more family-oriented the populace) — the more distant the long-term mating patterns, the smaller the family size (and the more individualistic the populace — and, yet, more commonweal oriented — at least in europe…).

see also: craig willy’s Emmanuel Todd’s L’invention de l’Europe: A critical summary

previously: “l’explication de l’idéologie” and where do clans come from? and whatever happened to european tribes?

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emmanuel todd’s absolute nuclear family

steve sailer posted about the curious distribution of todd’s absolute nuclear family (the yellow bits on the map over here) — this family system, according to todd, is found in the eastern parts of england and scotland, denmark and southern norway, what looks like frisia to me, and brittany. steve points out that all of these were anglo-saxon lands back in the day — except for brittany.

todd (in “The Explanation of Ideology”) describes the absolute nuclear family as having these characteristics:

– no precise inheritance rules, frequent use of wills;
– no cohabitation of married children with their parents;
– no marriage between the children of brothers.

here are a couple excerpts from his chapter on nuclear families:

pg. 100:

“Peter Laslett, with the help of household lists, has thus studied household composition as far back as the sixteenth century, and Alan Macfarlane has extended the analysis back to the thirteenth century by reinterpreting medieval documents about inheritance customs. The result of this research is clear: extended families have never existed in England where, at least since the Middle Ages, the nuclear model has been the dominant form…. What the research conducted in England in the 1960s and 1970s shows is that the individual, in the sociological sense of the word, has always existed in certain regions of Europe.”

well, not always but, rather, since at least the medieval period.

i’ve got alan macfarlane’s “The Origins of English Individualism” sitting on the shelf here. i’m hoping he can shed more light on this anglo individualism/nuclear family thing.

more from todd. pg. 101:

“The dislocation of traditional English and (northern) French societies by a complex process of ubanization, industrialization and the spread of literacy, has been comparatively less painful than in cultures dominated by a family ideal that emphasizes the complementary qualities of parents and children. The rural exodus separates the generations and erodes the core of complex families of the exogamous community and authoritarian models. It has no effect on a system dominated by nuclear households, where the early breakdown of domestic groups is socially acceptable and prepared for by an apprenticeship in individual autonomy from childhood. Urbanization in England started early and was soon complete. By comparison with Germany and Russia which developed later, the process in England seems to have been an easy one. It occurred in a peasant society which was already very flexible.”

previously: “l’explication de l’idéologie” and behind the hajnal line and medieval manoralism and the hajnal line

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family types and the evolution of behavioral traits

m.g. and jayman (and maybe some others of you out there?) have been saying for a while now that they think that family types/structures are very important when thinking about the structures/functioning of different societies (see also both of their blogs here and here) — and i’ve been hearing them, but maybe not listening very closely. (once my little aspergian, ocd brain starts following a line of thought — e.g. mating patterns and the structures/functioning of different societies — it can be difficult to re-focus. (~_^) )

anyway, i’m sure that they — and emmanuel todd (and others) — ARE on to something very important!

i said before that i was sure that todd was on to something, but i didn’t buy his explanations which are sorta a cross between sociology and freudianism. i mean: meh. i complained in this post here:

“i haven’t finished ‘The Explanation of Ideology’ yet, but so far todd has described some very interesting patterns in relationships between family types and political ideologies. he’s definitely on to something here; but his work, to my mind, is ‘only’ descriptive (i put ‘only’ in quotes because i don’t mean to belittle his work in any way — it’s an enormous contribution to understanding ideologies, i think!). but, he doesn’t really get down to why family structures and kinship should affect ideologies in the ways that they appear to do. what he’s missing, i think, are some biological concepts like inclusive fitness and all the sorts of behaviors that follow from that.

even though todd’s work, to me, seemed to be “only” descriptive, it is still a powerful description. his connections between family types and national or societal ideologies seem to be very right on. for instance, here’s his “exogamous community family” type and communistic societies (think slavs):

exogamous community family
– cohabitation of married sons and their parents
– equality between brothers defined by rules of inheritance
– no marriage between the children of two brothers
– russia, yugoslavia, slovakia, bulgaria, hungary, finland, albania, central italy, china, vietnam, cuba, north india (note that many of these countries, the eastern european ones, also have a tradition of marrying young)
– communism, edit 01/08/12: socialism

what bothered me about todd’s explanations (or lack of them, afaiac) was that they didn’t take biology into account. but what just dawned on me in the last couple of days (took so long ’cause of my aspergian, ocd brain!) is that the biological explanation he’s missing is evolution by natural selection! eureka! (or, duh! *facepalm* basic principles, hbd chick. basic principles.)

it was something jayman said the other day that made it click in my (dense little) brain:

“The key factor is communal vs nuclear families, it seems. As you and others had discussed, nuclear families promote individuality since one often had to stand and succeed on one’s own, rather than depending on the family for support and guidance (probably also very important for men seeking mates as well).

“But in communal societies, individuality was not so important. Indeed, it may have been a detriment, as this may have made living in the communal home difficult. Perhaps Eastern peoples are so accepting of authority because most spent much or all of their adult lives under the yoke of the patriarch, and this may have selected for different traits than in the west.”

of course! yes, yes, yes! family types (like mating patterns) have placed selection pressures on populations. (thnx, jayman!)

in any particular society, whatever personality or emotional or even intelligence traits that enabled the individuals living in a certain family type to leave the most descendants behind would become most common in that population.

thus, like m.g. says:

“I’ve often wondered why Communism was able to latch on and survive for so long in the Slavic lands. Perhaps it has more to do with their very old, peculiar system of dividing property–communally, not individually.”

yes. for whatever quirky historical reasons (i.e. circumstances), those slavs who succeeded reproductively were those that lived in extended family-groups headed by a male patriarch. after living like this for pretty much thousands of years (the russians apparently took a bit of a break for a few hundred years during the medieval period), you’d think that personality traits that would lead to the acceptance of the redistribution of food and goods amongst the members of the communal group — and even those traits leading to the acceptance of following a single, strong male leader in an almost unquestioning manner — would’ve been selected for.

todd says [pgs. 33 & 39]:

“According to the handbooks of the Third International, communism is the dictatorship of the proletariat. But I would like to suggest another definition which seems to correspond more closely to the sociological and geographic reality of the phenomenon: communism is a transference to the party state of the moral traits and the regulatory mechanisms of the exogamous community family. Sapped by urbanization, industrialization and the spread of literacy, in short by modernization, the exogamous community family passes on its egalitarian and authoritarian values to the new society. Individuals with equal rights are crushed by the political system in the same way they were destroyed in the past by the extended family when it was the dominant institution of traditional Russian, Chinese, Vietnamese or Serbian society….

“The creation of a communist structure allows individuals to be reintegrated into a family setting which is authoritarian and egalitarian. The party replaces the family. Its cells artificially reproduce relationships of fraternity which are dense and intolerable. Even deadly. Its hierarchy replaces paternal authority literally on every level. At the base, the secretary of the cell intervenes in the family life of Soviet couples. At the top, the father follow one after the other: a dynamic, talkative and violent father in Lenin; a sadistic father in Stalin; and aged father in Brezhnev, who carried the metaphor of the Russian political family to its limit.”

lemme re-write those two sentences i highlighted:

– communism is a transference to the party state of the innate moral traits and the biologically-based regulatory mechanisms within populations which had been selected for after generations of living within the exogamous community family.
– the exogamous community family passes on its egalitarian and authoritarian values, which are innate behavioral traits of its members that have been selected for after generations of living within this family type, to the new society.

there. that’s better! (^_^)

previously: “l’explication de l’idéologie” and mating patterns in medieval eastern europe

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divide et impera

in “Kinship and marriage among the Visigoths,” giorgio ausenda writes [pgs. 147-48]:

Langobardic [Lombardian] laws concerning forbidden marriages also became stricter over time. Liutprand 33 [8th century] forbade marriage with the widow of a cousin, but no further prohibitions were reflected in the laws. We know, however, that more extended prohibitions were made compulsory by the Church….

This shows that both Church and State were interested in forbidding close kin marriages. Their common concern becomes clear when one bears in mind the recognized difficulty the Church had, from the fourth century onwards, in expanding into the countryside….

“In conclusion, the strenuous effort [by the Church] to penetrate the countryside entailed a long-drawn battle against traditional religion, whose vehicle was the kin group, and substituting the authority of the elders of the kin group with that of a religious elder, the presbyteros. At the same time the king’s rule was undermined by revolts on the part of the most powerful kin groups, clans or sections, whose conspiracies and murders menaced the power of the state. Thus Church and State became allies in trying to do aways with the political power of extended kin groups utilizing all manners of impositions. One of the most effective among them was to destroy their cohesiveness by prohibition of close kin marriage.

so, it was not just the early medieval church that wanted to reduce the cohesiveness of clans and tribes, it was also very much the political powers-that-be of the day. kings and princes wanted to reduce the power of these extended-family groups because that would enable the transfer of more power to themselves. divide and conquer.

that was then. this is now:

How Become a Good Single Parent
Equality for all parents, straight or gay
Accept gay marriage

(you don’t really have to read any of those. you know the sort of things they have to say.)

tptb today also want to grab as much power for themselves, but there aren’t any clans or tribes left to dismantle (at least not in the west). so, how to divide the population? well, one way is via mass immigration, which they’re obviously doing as i type. the other is to divide the family even further, even though it seems like that shouldn’t be possible. i mean, what the h*ck is smaller than the nuclear family? well, i guess single-parent families….

the character of europe was radically altered by the changes in mating patterns in medieval europe — which were imposed from outside by both the church and the state. we, living today, might say that those changes were for the better, but the members of the clans and tribes that disappeared wouldn’t say that. they would probably say that their extended families were destroyed — just as families are being destroyed today.

i’m very socially liberal by nature (live and let live, say i) and not religious at all, so i don’t find it immoral if people have children out of wedlock, nor do i think that gay marriage is morally wrong. i really don’t care what people do in their own home (altho i am kinda sick and tired of all-gay-all-the-time wherever i turn — can’t you just be gay and quiet about it for a change?). but i do care about the breakdown of western society, prolly mostly just because i have a conservative personality, but also ’cause i think that western civilization has been pretty darn wonderful, so why fix what’s not broken? i mean, what are we going to wind up with if we do away with the stable family entirely: african family structures and, therefore, african-like societies and ideologies?

i’m against too much welfare for single-moms and no-fault divorces and gay marriage not because of any moral revulsion i have about these things. i’m against them because i think they’re being used by the elite as weapons against the ordinary folk and the ordinary family. they’re changes in mating patterns being imposed, largely, from outside with the intent of breaking down family bonds.

divide et impera. sub sole nihil novi est.

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“l’explication de l’idéologie”

i’ve had in my mind for some time now the idea that ideology, whether religious or political, is somehow connected to human reproductive patterns. not that all of ideology is dictated by our mating patterns, but that at least some of it is influenced by our mating patterns.

i got this idea from what steve sailer and stanley kurtz and parapundit had to say a couple of years ago about cousin marriage (specifically, fbd marriage) and democracy, i.e. that the two don’t go together. which made me think that, gee, well i guess the corollary is prolly true as well, i.e. that NOT marrying your cousins must be conducive to democracy. and then i started to think about what other ideologies might be affected by mating patterns — and vice versa — and why and how.

the first question to ask, maybe, is what are ideologies for? i mean, what do they do? why do we have them? for all sorts of reasons, of course, but one set of reasons, i think, has to do with regulating who gets to mate with whom in your society. (this is crucial, of course, because successful reproduction of your genes is what life is all about.) islam, for instance, doesn’t say you have to marry your fbd, but it certainly has all sorts of regulations about the mixing of the sexes — in order that mating is controlled. christianity also controls mating, as we’ve seen (if you’ve been following along), by generally not allowing us to marry our cousins. exogamy is strongly encouraged.

so, anyway, somewhere along the line in all this thinking and reading about human mating patterns, i came across a reference for emmanuel todd’s “The Explanation of Ideology: Family Structures and Social Systems.” i was immediately intrigued by the summary blurbs about the book (from the back cover):

“Some parts of the world are dominated by communism, others by Catholicism or by Islam and yet others by liberal doctrines. Why should this be? And why has communism triumphed in Russia, China and Cuba [the book was published in 1985], yet failed in Poland, Cambodia and Indonesia? Why should English society be distinctively individualistic, French egalitarian and Russian authoritarian? No one knows. Certainly no clear answer lies in variations of climate, environment, race or even economic development.”

well, being an hbd chick, i’m not convinced by that last sentence. i think that some of the differences between how different populations structure their societies are likely due, in part, to innate differences in, for example, the average intelligence and/or average personality types of those different populations, etc., etc. for instance, i’m sure that the fact that a certain allele related to adhd is extremely infrequent in east asian populations must affect the way(s) east asian societies are constructed — broadly speaking — as compared to, say, european or african societies.

anyway, more from the back of the book:

“The argument of this book is that world variations in social ideology and belief are conditioned by family structure. The author analyses the distribution of family forms throughout the world and examines the relations between particular structures and (for example) communism, totalitarianism and individualism, as well as the links between these forms and a variety of social phenomena: illegitimacy, suicide, infanticide, marital stability and inheritance laws. He offers convincing evidence to support the belief that family structures and kinship patterns lie behind the ideologies that have shaped the history of the twentienth century.”

ah ha! kinship patterns. that’s related to mating patterns. as are family structures.

i haven’t finished “The Explanation of Ideology” yet, but so far todd has described some very interesting patterns in relationships between family types and political ideologies. he’s definitely on to something here; but his work, to my mind, is “only” descriptive (i put “only” in quotes because i don’t mean to belittle his work in any way — it’s an enormous contribution to understanding ideologies, i think!). but, he doesn’t really get down to why family structures and kinship should affect ideologies in the ways that they appear to do. what he’s missing, i think, are some biological concepts like inclusive fitness and all the sorts of behaviors that follow from that.

todd identifies seven (or eight) different family types that occur around the world. he bases his types, in part, on the typology of nineteenth century french sociologist, frédéric le play, who studied families throughout europe. rather amusingly, le play identified two basic principles or forces within european families which, he felt, resulted in the outward familial structures that could be seen: liberty and equality. (heh. but what about fraternity?!)

liberty, in le play’s definition of family structures, refers to the parent-child relationships — do adult children continue to live with their parents after marriage or not? how much authority do the parents, especially fathers, have in running the family? those are the sorts of features that fall under liberty. equality, for le play, refers to the sibling relationships — especially, how does inheritance work? are all the (male) children treated equally, or is there, for instance, primogeniture?

to me, these features are descriptive and, perhaps, somewhat explanatory, but they don’t get down to the nitty-gritty. why are some families communal and others not? is that a response to the environment? does it have to do with relatedness between the family members? population density? what? very useful and interesting descriptions, but not explanatory enough for me.

todd adds two more characteristics of family/kinship structures to le play’s typology in order to define a range of family types and these are, very importantly, endogamy versus exogamy. do family members marry other family members, or do they marry non-relatives?

so, using these three sets of dichotomies — liberty vs. non-liberty, equality vs. inequality, endogamy vs. exogamy — todd comes up with seven basic family types (he adds an eighth, too — i’ll get to that in a minute). here they are with their defining characteristics, the countries in which they are found, and their matching ideologies:

absolute nuclear family
– no cohabitation of married children with their parents
– no precise inheritance rules; frequent use of wills
– no marriage between the children of brothers
– anglo-saxons, netherlands, denmark
– christianity, capitalism, ‘libertarian’ liberalism, feminism

egalitarian nuclear family
– no cohabitation of married children with their parents
– equality of brothers laid down by inheritance rules
– no marriage between the children of brothers.
– northern france, northern italy, central and southern spain, central portugal, greece, romania, poland, latin america, ethiopia
– christianity (catholicism); the “liberte, egalite, fraternite” form of liberalism

authoritarian family
– cohabitation of the married heir with this parents
– inequality of brothers laid down by inheritance rules, transfer of an unbroken patrimony to one of the sons
– little or no marriage between the children of two brothers
– germany, austria, sweden, norway, belgium, bohemia, scotland, ireland, peripheral regions of france, northern spain, northern portugal, japan, korea, jews, romany gypsies
edit 01/08/12: socialism/bureaucratic socialism or social democracy, catholicism. fascism sometimes, various separatist and autonomous (anti-universalist) movements (think german federalism)

exogamous community family
– cohabitation of married sons and their parents
– equality between brothers defined by rules of inheritance
– no marriage between the children of two brothers
– russia, yugoslavia, slovakia, bulgaria, hungary, finland, albania, central italy, china, vietnam, cuba, north india (note that many of these countries, the eastern european ones, also have a tradition of marrying young)
– communism, edit 01/08/12: socialism

endogamous community family
– cohabitation of married sons with their parents
– equality between brothers established by inheritance rules
– frequent marriage between the children of brothers
– arab world, turkey, iran, afghanistan, pakistan, azerbaijan, turkmenistan, uzbekistan, tadzhikistan
– islam

asymmetrical community family
– cohabitation of married sons and their parents
– equality between brothers laid down by inheritance rules
– prohibition on marriages between the children of brothers, but a preference for marriages between the children of brothers and sisters
– southern India
– hinduism; a variety of communism unlike that found elsewhere

anomic family
– cohabitation of married children with their parents rejected in theory but accepted in practice
– uncertainty about equality between brothers: inheritance rules egalitarian in theory but flexible in practice
– consanguine marriage possible and sometimes frequent
– burma, cambodia, laos, thailand, malaysia, indonesia, philippines, madagascar, south-american indian cultures

the eighth family type, which is additional to todd’s scheme (i.e. it doesn’t fit the three definitional dichotomies he uses, which maybe indicates a problem with his definitions?), is the african family. todd sort-of throws his hands up in the air and declares that african family systems are simply hopeless to understand (because they don’t fit his model) — and, anyway, there’s not enough data on them (which was prolly true in the early 1980s — and maybe still is now!). anyway, here’s all he has to say about the africans:

african systems
– instability of the household
– polygyny

heh. yes, very true. but i’d like those systems explained, too, along with african ideologies.

so, well, i’ll most likely post more on this in the future. i’m sure i’ll refer to it going forward ’cause this is exactly the topic i hope to pursue on the ol’ blog here: mating patterns and how they affect our behaviors and ideologies — and vice versa.

stay tuned!

oh, if anyone’s read “The Explanation of Ideology” or “The Invention of Europe” (or any of todd’s other works), i’d love to hear your thoughts on what he has to say (that means you, m.g.! (~_^) ).

previously: the explanation of ideology and exogamy

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demokratia

how did the ancient athenians manage? to have a functioning democracy, that is — for as long as they did?

having a real, working democratic society seems to be at direct odds with being a clannish or tribalistic society. but the ancient greeks, including the athenians, were clannish|tribal — they had phylai (clans or tribes) and phratries (kin-groups or, maybe, sub-clans). and they definitely practiced inbreeding, frequently marrying cousins. in fact, fbd marriage was obligatory in the case of a female heiress — she had to marry one of her paternal cousins so that the estate would not go out of the extended family.

so how the h*ck did they manage to come up with a working demokratia?

cleisthenes’ reforms in 508/7 b.c.

in order to put a stop to the tyrannies that were continually popping up in athens (or, more likely, to quash the powers of clans other than his own — some of his family members had been tyrants, after all), cleisthenes devised a new system whereby athenian society would be organized.

the countryside surrounding athens, attica, had been politically arranged into demes, or regions or neighborhoods. to be a citizen, though, you had to be a member of a long-standing athenian phratry (kin-group). the demes were probably dominated by the phratries that happened to live in them.

cleisthenes rearranged all the demes in a brilliant sort-of reverse-gerrymandering scheme. the new political regions (trittyes) each consisted of three different, non-contiguous areas: from the coast, from the city, and from a rural area. everyone eligible to vote would now cast their vote as a member of a trittys, not (so much anymore) as a member of a phratry.

heh. brilliant!:

“After this victory Cleisthenes began to reform the government of Athens. In order to forestall strife between the traditional clans, which had led to the tyranny in the first place, he changed the political organization from the four traditional tribes, which were based on family relations, into ten tribes according to their area of residence (their deme). Most modern historians suppose there were 139 demes (this is still a matter of debate), organized into thirty groups called trittyes (‘thirds’), with ten demes divided among three regions in each trittys (a city region, asty; a coastal region, paralia; and an inland region, mesogeia). Cleisthenes also abolished patronymics in favour of demonymics (a name given according to the deme to which one belongs), thus increasing Athenians’ sense of belonging to a deme.” [wikip]

this system worked, with a few short interruptions and some changes, for more than a couple hundred years. cool.

cheryl anne cox goes into a lot of detail about athenian marriage patterns. i’ve read some of her book, but not all, so i still don’t have a good overview of how it all worked and what sort of changes in how athenians mated, if any, might have happened over time. she does mention that cousin marriage occurred not infrequently, but that arranged marriages (most of the marriages of vips in athens|attica were arranged) also happened between neighbors in a deme — you know, to create alliances between important families, join up big farms, etc., etc. she also notes that marriage in the city was more heterogamous.

the phratries (kin-groups) did, apprarently, loose their significance during the classical period in athens. did this have to do with increasing marriages across the artifically created trittyes (i.e. outbreeding) with a concomitant decrease in marriages within the phratry (i.e. inbreeding)? dunno, but i’d put money on it.

also, had the phratries, which had been powerful during the greek dark ages, already been weakened by the time of cleisthenes’ reforms by the outbreeding in the demes that cox describes? i think it likely.

maybe athenian society was already primed for demokratia by the time cleisthenes got there.

edit: boilerplate and boilerplate 2.0

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nepotistic nosiness

some neat research from a couple of years ago:

Nepotistic nosiness: inclusive fitness and vigilance of kin members’ romantic relationships

“Abstract

“The logic of inclusive fitness suggests that people should be attentive to the mating relationships of their kin — especially their genetically closest kin. This logic further suggests that people will be especially attentive to close kin members’ relationships when a greater indirect fitness benefit is at stake. Three studies tested implications of this analysis. The primary results were that (a) people maintain greater vigilance over (and attempt greater influence on) the romantic relationships of genetically closer kin; (b) this effect is largely mediated by feelings of emotional closeness and perceptions of physical similarity; (c) women are more vigilant than men over their kin members’ relationships; (d) people are more vigilant over the relationships of female kin, as compared to male kin, but only under conditions with especially clear implications for indirect fitness; and (e) people are more vigilant over kin members’ long-term committed relationships, as compared to their casual relationships. These results indicate that a subtle form of nepotism is manifest in people’s concern with their kin members’ romantic relationships.

heh.

so, people are concerned about who their relatives mate with (for inclusive fitness reasons) — especially the ones to whom they are more closely related — and especially their female relatives (’cause, of course, women are limited in their reproductive capacity as compared to men, and it’s rather expensive for them [us!], too).

of course, i can’t help but wonder what happens in inbred societies. are these sentiments amplified? like, if your daughter is also your cousin (a few dozen times over), does that make you want to — say — cover her up so she can’t so easily attract a mate? might you want to hobble her so she can’t run off and have assignations with some unknown guy(s)? could you possibly want to cut off her clitoris so she’s not so interested in sex? hmmmmm?

or even if you’re just a little inbred, maybe any guy that wants to mate with your daughter has to ask your permission first. on the other hand, if you’re very outbred, maybe anything goes for everybody.

note (from the article): “Across all three studies reported here, 53% of participants were of East Asian ethnic background, 30% were of European background, and 17% were of various other ethnic backgrounds.”

btw – here’s a little tidbit of info from the lex alamannorum (one of the early medieval germanic law codes): “Chapter 56.1 regulates penalties for violence towards women. If someone uncovers the head of a free, unmarried woman, he is fined with 6 solidi.”

so, early medieval germanic women (single ones anyway) wore a head covering. germanic tribes had endogamous marriage practices, including prolly some form of cousin-marriage, kinda like many muslim societies today.

update 06/25: i think the church may have introduced compulsory head covering for women to northern europeans. here from jack goody’s “The development of the family and marriage in Europe” [pg. 44]:

“In fifth-century Ireland, St. Patrick drew a distinction between the habits of the ‘Romans’, that is Christians, and those of barbarians. In a later canon clerics were told they must conform to civilised Roman practice in three ways: by wearing a tunic, by shaving their heads, and by seeing their wives go veiled.”

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“the explanation of ideology”

so, i finally got my hands on “the explanation of ideology” by emmanuel todd. flipped through it today and it looks pretty interesting, altho a little heavy on the marxism for my tastes (french academics!).

this passage really caught my eye [pgs. 134-36]:

“The paradoxical process by which a taboo [inbreeding] becomes an endogamous preference allows us to explain the expansion of Islam. Invented by the Arab world which practised systematic patrilineal endogamy, the Muslim religion moved into all the surrounding regions where exogamous prescriptions were weak or non-existant. It did not create an endogamous model but regulated and organized one by eliminating only the most extreme forms of incest: the marriage between brother and sister of ancient Egypt, that between brother and sister of Zoroastrian Iran, and that between half-brother and half-sister of ancient Palestine. Islam stops in the West, in southern Spain, at the limits of the area once under Carthaginian rule, Phoenician in anthropological terms.

“From the beginning Christianity chose an exogamous ideal. In ‘The City of God’ Augustine developed an evolutionary idea of the incest taboo, according to which the prohibitions gradually became more extensive. In fact Christianity simply inherited the Roman kinship prohibitions which forbade marriage between first cousins. The story of the kidnapping of the Sabines is a typical exogamous foundation tale.

“The conversion of the northern barbarians to Christianity from the sixth century onwards marked the beginning of an extension of the exogamous ideal, which was apparently more strictly applied among the Germanic peoples than among the Romans. Even today penal legislation covering incest, while moderate or non-existent in Latin countries — France, Italy, Spain — in northern Europe and particularly Germany betrays a phobia and abhorrence of sexual relations between close relatives. Between 1950 and 1955, 400 people were sentenced each year in West Germany for breaking the incest laws. There is nothing in the French criminal code on the subject: it punishes only when an adult takes advantage of a position of authority over a minor, whether it be as father or guardian.

“The movement of the fiercely exogamous Germanic peoples, then of the endogamous Arabs towards the Mediterranean, therefore polarized a situation which was originally extremely diverse. The Christian world embodied the ideal of exogamy, the Muslim world that of endogamy. Two monotheistic forms of universalism confronted each other, trapped by an anthropological differnce. Christians and Muslims saw each other as savages, incompatible with one another because of their sexual and family morality.”

iow, because of their mating patterns and the degrees of relatedness between the members of their respective societies. they were trapped not by an anthropological difference, but by a biological one.

talk about a clash of civilizations!

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