Defining Marriage and Legitimacy

  title={Defining Marriage and Legitimacy},
  author={Duran Bell},
  journal={Current Anthropology},
  pages={237 - 253}
  • D. Bell
  • Published 1 April 1997
  • Sociology
  • Current Anthropology
A cross‐culturally valid conception of marriage must begin with a definition of husband‐wife and with a distinction between spouses and lovers. From this perspective we find that marriage is an institution by which men are provided (socially supported) rights to women. Typically, this institution is embedded within a domestic group wherein a multiplicity of other rights and responsibilities are assigned. Hence, the definition of marriage attributable to E. R. Leach confounds domestic rights… 

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