Exogamy is the custom of seeking a mate or marriage
partner outside of ones own kinship group or class, religion, ethnic group or area of
residence. Exogamy is when one marries someone outside one's own group. Endogamy is when one marries someone within one's own group.
The organizational advantage of exogamy is that outsiders
are constantly brought in, which might be desirable, e.g. if the group has shortages in
their work force. Exogamy also means that representatives of other, potentially enemy
groups will be present in your own group, exerting pressure to avoid conflicts.
Exogamy, the exchange of spouses across groups, is
therefore a classical mechanism of alliance formation. Exogamy is the custom by which a
man is obliged to marry outside his own community, clan, or tribe.
Exogamic: of or pertaining to exogamy.
Exogamous: practicing exogamy; of or pertaining to
"The tangential disposition of the male is expressed
in the system of exogamy so characteristic of tribal life. The movement towards exogamy
doubtless originates in the restlessness of the male, the tendency to make new
coordinations, the stimulus to seek more unfamiliar women, and the emotional interest in
making unfamiliar sexual alliances. But quite aside from its origin, exogamy is an
energetic expression of the male nature." - W.I. Thomas. "The Relation of Sex to
Primitive Social Control," American Journal of Sociology 3, (1898): 754-76.
Genetics, Ecology and the Origins of Incest and
Exogamy - Frank B. Livingstone
Current Anthropology, Vol. 10, No. 1 (Feb., 1969)
Abstract: The biological consequences of inbreeding are often advanced as the cause of the
evolution of incest and exogamy in human societies. This paper attempts to show that
genetic analysis does not support such a conclusion. An alternate reconstruction of the
origins of incest and exogamy based on cultural and populational consequences of these
phenomena is proposed to show that reconstructions of human cultural evolution can
contribute to the interpretation of human biological evolution.
From Westermarck's Effect to Fox's Law: paradox and principle in the relationship
between taboos and exogamy - Alex Walter
These include sociological, psychological, and sociobiological approaches. Each of these
approaches poses challenges not easily addressed by its competitors and yet no
satisfactory synthesis seems available given the currently existing explanatory paradigms.
It is argued here that exogamy is not a simple outgrowth of taboos and taboos are not a
simple extenuation of inbreeding avoidance. Relationships between the sociobiology of
inbreeding avoidance and social institutions such as exogamy and taboos are recast with
the help of evolutionary psychology, which provides additional tools with which to
approach this complex and contradictory set of interlocking problems.
Migration of Culture(s) symposium - Endogamy and exogamy among post-war
Calabria-born women in South Australia - Giulia Ciccone
ABSTRACT: Calabria-born women have always had a significant presence within South
Australias Italian community. Between 1927 and 1940, of the estimated 2,493 Italian
arrivals, 512 (20.5%) were from Calabria, of whom 123 (24%) were females.1 The women
either migrated with a male or they waited in Calabria until their husband, father,
relative or male paesano had saved enough money to sponsor them out. Upon arrival in South
Australia the women most commonly performed domestic duties or looked after the children.