The Family among the Australian Aborigines: A Sociological Study

By B. Malinowski | Go to book overview

CHAPTER V
MODE OF LIVING

I

THE, three points hitherto discussed refer more exclusively to the relationship between husband and wife, and do not involve that between parents and children. They bear more on marriage than on the family. But, as so often repeated, the full description of marriage can be made only in connection with, and on the basis of, a knowledge of the family life in its larger sense. We proceed now to this more general discussion, and in order to carry it out on broad foundations it will be well in the first place to consider the family unit 1 in connection with the territorial and tribal organization; that is to consider the mode of living of the family in connection with the higher territorial and tribal units. It has been repeatedly said that each social unit should be discussed in connection with the general structure of society and the general conditions of life in a given area. When theoretically stated this appears a commonplace; in practice it is seldom carried out by ethnologists.

That the facts of aggregation are of the highest importance in sociology appears also to be quite clear.2 These

____________________
1
Under the term "family unit" I understand in this study only the group constituted by husband, wife and their children.
2
"In the study of population... the facts of aggregation or grouping are the first to claim our attention." ( F. H. Giddings, Print. of Sociology p. 79). In fact all the social phenomena of higher order corresponding to differentiation and constitution depend upon the facts of grouping. In the lowest societies, as the Australian, the mode of living in very small groups pre

-132-

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The Family among the Australian Aborigines: A Sociological Study
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction xi
  • Chapter I - Exposition of the Problem and Method 1
  • Chapter II - Modes of Obtaining Wives 34
  • Chapter III - Husband and Wife 67
  • Chapter IV - Sexual Aspect of Marriage 89
  • Chapter V - Mode of Living 132
  • Chapter VI - Discussion of Kinship 168
  • Chapter VII - Parents and Children 234
  • Chapter VIII - Economics 274
  • Chapter IX - Summary and Conclusions 292
  • Addenda 305
  • References and Reading List 310
  • Index 313
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