Gender-based family lines

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Omzinesý
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Gender-based family lines

Post by Omzinesý » Mon 23 Apr 2018, 17:16

The idea is that daughters are considered part of their mother's family and sons are considered part of their father's family.
So marriages are bound between "male families" and "female families". Property, titles etc. are inherited from the same-sex parent. That doesn't have to mean there aren't opposite-sex parents but family lines don't go though them.

This must appear in some part of the globe.
What consequences could that kind of a family system have?
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Re: Gender-based family lines

Post by shimobaatar » Mon 23 Apr 2018, 17:31

I'd recommend looking into "ambilineality", even though I don't think it's necessarily what you're looking for exactly, since I think it's more common in such systems for people to be able to choose which parent's family they belong to. Of course, I could be wrong/misunderstanding, but even if I'm not, I think it's still worth looking into.
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Re: Gender-based family lines

Post by sangi39 » Mon 23 Apr 2018, 18:44

I could be incredibly wrong about this, and I'm not sure if I'm basing this on something I read years ago, or if I'm being influenced by where I've tried to implement similar structures in my concultures, but I seem to recall that what exactly is inherited down male vs. female lines is often somewhat distinct. Family membership and, by extension, membership within larger social groups, is usually inherited fairly simply, i.e. a woman will be considered a member of her mother's wider family and her mother's clan/tribe/whatever, while a man will be consider a member of his father's wider family and his mother's clan/tribe/whatever, and things like religious affiliation might pass down simply along those lines as well, as might titles, but physical property usually seems to be divided into male and female spheres.

For example, movable property, such as any jewellery, small religious idols, cattle, sheep, etc. might be passed down from mother to daughter, while static property, such as farmland, access rights to forests, mines, rivers, associations with larger religious sites, etc. might be passed down from father to son (IIRC, this division would be more common in societies where women move in with their husbands).

A quick search on Google suggests that similar systems do occur (the Yoko in Nigeria and the Toda in India, maybe?) but I haven't been able to find out whether there's a gendered division for which family a child belongs to, or how that affects inheritance, e.g. if family affiliation is patrilineal for all children and cattle are inherited by both sons and daughters (with a son's cattle passing to his future wife). From what I can tell of the Toda, all of their property passes from father to son, while religious duties related to funerals pass from mother to sons and daughters.
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Re: Gender-based family lines

Post by eldin raigmore » Tue 24 Apr 2018, 02:11

Reportedly, systems where everyone inherits membership from their same-sex parent are unstable.
Everyone inheriting from their father is stable , and common.
Everyone inheriting from their mother is stable, and common.
Bilineality, where two concurrent systems of clans run at the same time, and everyone is both in their father’s patriclan and in their mother’s matriclan, has been reported several times.
That’s different from ambilineality. In an ambilineal culture, everyone belongs to just one clan, but gets to choose whether to join their father’s clan or their mother’s clan.
When we discussed this on conworlds.fun/cwbb I was told and believed that in bilineal cultures the patriclans might have very different uses from the matriclans. I don’t know any real-world examples, but I doubt the bilineal con cultures on the cwbb are too far fetched (in that one respect!).
Margaret Meade &co have controversially reported that the Mundugumor, or some of them, have a clan system — the geun , or rope — in which sons join their mother’s clan while daughters join their father’s clan. That is mathematically stable, but if it occurs at all in the real world, it is very rare. I have never found a truly convincing explanation for why it’s so rare.
My concultures, or at least the human ones, track trilineal descent; — patrilines, matrilines, and “ropes”. They are all exogamous, but different kinds of property are inherited along different lines.

Note that, in both ambilineal cultures and along “the rope”, a full brother and a full sister might or will wind up in different clans.
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Re: Gender-based family lines

Post by Omzinesý » Tue 24 Apr 2018, 12:46

If the culture has serial monogamy as a norm (it seems to be quite natural for human species), them sons would be part of their father's new family while daughters would be part of their mother's new family.
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Re: Gender-based family lines

Post by eldin raigmore » Tue 24 Apr 2018, 20:34

Omzinesý wrote:
Tue 24 Apr 2018, 12:46
If the culture has serial monogamy as a norm (it seems to be quite natural for human species), them sons would be part of their father's new family while daughters would be part of their mother's new family.
Which system are you talking about?
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Re: Gender-based family lines

Post by Gerk » Wed 25 Apr 2018, 21:40

I have no idea if this sort of system would be stable or not. But as the basis for a story, it seems like an interesting premise. I can imagine lots of scenarios where it would create drama. Alliances between great houses might be handled differently than they have been in our history. Divvying up the inheritance gets tricky when the family gains wealth while the marriage is ongoing... prenups would be serious business.
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Re: Gender-based family lines

Post by eldin raigmore » Thu 26 Apr 2018, 14:42

If it’s fictive rather than biological kinship it can be stable for centuries, IIANM.
That would mean boys join their godfathers’ clans and girls join their godmothers’ clans.

I can’t see a story much longer than about two pages being premised on a system that’s provably unstable.
Or, maybe, I can’t see a saga-sized novel or series set in such a conculture.

But. Hell. If the movie 2012 made money, I suppose anything’s possible.

————

Gerk ‘s ideas for conflicts are exactly those imagined or reported among Mead’s Mundugumor.
So that’s at least as realistic as her work.
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Re: Gender-based family lines

Post by eldin raigmore » Thu 26 Apr 2018, 14:49

Omzinesý wrote:
Mon 23 Apr 2018, 17:16
This must appear in some part of the globe.
Apparently it doesn’t.

But:
What consequences could that kind of a family system have?
That’s still a good question!
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Omzinesý
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Re: Gender-based family lines

Post by Omzinesý » Fri 27 Apr 2018, 11:20

Omzinesý wrote:
Tue 24 Apr 2018, 12:46
If the culture has serial monogamy as a norm (it seems to be quite natural for human species), themn sons would be part of their father's new family while daughters would be part of their mother's new family.
This is just conwolding, trying to imagine where the system would be seen. When a couple separates the sons follow their father and daughters their mother.
Reportedly, systems where everyone inherits membership from their same-sex parent are unstable.
Everyone inheriting from their father is stable , and common.
Everyone inheriting from their mother is stable, and common.
What does stable mean here? I suppose these kinds of social structures aren't that determined. Of course social norms seem to adapt to physical environment and other social structures. Because sex/gender is a very basic social grouping, I just suppose it's been taken extreme somewhere. With this evidence we have in this thread I wouldn't say that those systems apparently don't exist. But that at least we haven't attested them. I'm no anthropologist though.



If a daughter inherits her mother and a son inherits his father, of course father's and mother's properties must be somehow (juridically) distinct. One solution is that if a man moves to his wife's home to get married, their property is still considered belonging to the woman and girls are privileged in inheritance, and vice versa.
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Re: Gender-based family lines

Post by eldin raigmore » Fri 27 Apr 2018, 15:27

Omzinesý wrote:
Fri 27 Apr 2018, 11:20
What does stable mean here?
That’s the right question.
Or maybe “Why and in what sense are other systems unstable?” .
I’m not an anthropologist either. I don’t really know why some of these systems are unstable. I know only that anthropologists say they are, and mathematicians agree. Maybe they’re unstable for mathematical reasons; maybe for stochastic or statistical reasons; maybe for biological reasons; maybe for purely anthropological reasons.

But the system you’re talking about — at separation sons follow their father and daughters follow their mother — is not the same kind of system I thought you meant anyway; it’s not a clan system nor similar to a clan system. I see no reason it couldn’t be stable.

So, go for it!
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Re: Gender-based family lines

Post by alynnidalar » Fri 27 Apr 2018, 17:56

eldin raigmore wrote:
Thu 26 Apr 2018, 14:42
I can’t see a story much longer than about two pages being premised on a system that’s provably unstable.
Or, maybe, I can’t see a saga-sized novel or series set in such a conculture.
Whyever not? A society in upheaval and the middle of social/cultural change sounds like a fascinating place to set a story!
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