Different descent principles and marital rules, result in a variety of different types of families and larger kin based groups. Regardless of the descent and marriage pattern used by a society, most people at some time in their lives are members of more than one family group. As a result of the growing divorce rate, North American’s and other monogamous societies that practice bilateral descent patters, can identify with unilineal descent groups as well as matricentric. My family descent group stems from a patrilineal perspective, where our family name is carried down by the males. However, my sister chose to pass our family name onto her son, which indicates the beginning of a matrilineal descent group.
In a patrilineal descent group, “the male members trace their descent from a common ancestor. The brothers and sisters belong to the descent group of their father’s father, their father, their father’s siblings, and their father’s brother’s children” (Haviland, pg. 240). This concept can be appropriately applied to my family, though slightly altered by my sister. Had she not chose to name her son after my dad, my brother would be the last person to pass the family name onto any sons he may have. Especially because my Father’s brother did not have any children.
Our family is pretty traditional in the post marital sense. However, including my parents, we all had children and resided with our mates out of, and before wedlock. Our family structure that applies to all my siblings, parents, and extended family where we live in households that consist of a mother, father and children. Now that I am divorced, my children are split between each household at fifty percent. In my home, it is just myself and two daughters. When they go home to see their Dad, he lives with his girlfriend and her daughter, as well as our two. We are part of the growing trend in North America of split households that work...