The Family among the Australian Aborigines: A Sociological Study

By B. Malinowski | Go to book overview

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I
EXPOSITION OF THE PROBLEM AND METHOD
I. Exposition of the problem and justification of the task (pp. 1 sqq.).

Some contradictions and obscurities concerning family and kinship in Australia (pp. 1-6).--Necessity of a careful and detailed description of all the features of the individual family among the Australian aborigines (pp. 6-9).--The sense in which the conception of law and legal should be applied to the Australian native society indicated (pp. 9-17).

II. Method of dealing with the evidence (pp. 17 sqq.).

At the outset only a general definition of "family" adopted; on the other hand raw ethnographical material given. Necessity of continually checking these two data with each other (p. 17).-- In dealing with the ethnographical evidence three points to be taken into consideration (pp. 17 sqq.).--(1) Criticisms of each statement (pp. 18 sqq.).--Verbal criticism (hermeneutic) (pp. 18- 19).--Criticism of contents (pp. 19 sqq.).--Different elements which might possibly have been the source of errors; and upon an analysis of which criticism in question may in part be based; (a) Material which the author had under observation (pp. 20-22). --(b) Circumstances and method of obtaining information (pp, 22, 23).--(c) Personal character and profession of the writer (pp. 23, 24).--(d) Purpose for which the book was written (p. 24).--(e) Form and quality of the writer's generalizations and abstract formulation (pp. 24, 25).--(2) Geographical localization of statements (pp. 26 sqq.).--Condition under which local differences may be safely assumed (pp. 26, 27).--(3) Final inferences from the evidence (pp. 27 sqq.).--Character of this operation; analytical division of the information on a given subject under different headings. Separate discussion of each point. Contradictions emphasized and not concealed (pp. 27- 29).--Conclusion drawn (pp. 29, 30).--Its confrontation with kindred facts (pp. 30, 31).--The chief methodological aim: general and complete clearness of all the operations of inference and argument (pp. 31-33).


CHAPTER II
MODES OF OBTAINING WIVES
Prof. Westermarck's definition of marriage and family accepted at the outset as starting-point (pp. 34, 35).--Inquiry first directed towards the legal aspect of marriage and ideas on marriage, as expressed and embodied in the aboriginal modes of obtaining

-v-

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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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