MODES OF OBTAINING WIVES
KEEPING to these general methodological principles, the aim of this study will be merely an objective, unprejudiced description of the different forms of the Australian family organization.
In accordance with what has been said above, let us accept at the outset a general definition, along the lines of which our investigations will be carried out. My choice for this purpose is the well-known definition of Dr. Westermarck: "Marriage is a more or less durable connection between male and female, lasting beyond the mere act of propagation till after the birth of the offspring." In another place ( Moral Ideas, ii. p. 364) Dr. Westermarck completes this definition: "As a social institution, on the other hand, it has a somewhat different meaning: it is a union regulated by custom and law. Society lays down the rules relating to the selection of partners, to the mode of contracting marriage, to its form, and to its duration." We may also remember that Dr. Westermarck first pointed out that "marriage is rooted in family, rather than family in marriage"1; and that he insists on the importance of economic elements in family life, and especially____________________
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Publication information: Book title: The Family among the Australian Aborigines:A Sociological Study. Contributors: B. Malinowski - Author. Publisher: Schocken Books. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1963. Page number: 34.
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