OBSERVATION Family and Religion
The Social Construction of Family
Please review the videos on the family forms we watched.
The first film introduces fraternal polyandry – where a wife
takes as her husbands brothers. Notice why they do this.
FILM 1 Polyandry (Fraternal)
The second film combines religion with family. It focuses on a
cut called the Fundamental Latter-Day Saints, a spin-off from the Mormon
religion. This is an example of patriarchy and a cult. Some of the images and
conversations are quite difficult as they deal with incest, rape, and violence.
FILM 2 Patriarchy Cult
“Damned to Heaven”
The third film is a documentary on the Mosuo society, which is a
matriarchy. This society is ancient and is balancing its culture with
FILM 3 Matriarchy
“The Women’s Kingdom”
Write your observation as an essay that compares polygyny
to polyandry, and matriarchal to patriarchal families on
1. Culture – how do each
of these family forms maintain legitimacy in society? (Refer to cultural
artifacts of symbols, values, and norms. How does ideology help secure these
family forms as “normal”)
2. Power – who has the
power in the family? How is this determined?
3. Then, compare these
families to your own in culture and power.
Your essay should be 5 paragraphs: an introduction, one
paragraph each on culture, power, a comparison to your own family, and a
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