Sociology Index


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. Exogamy, the exchange of spouses across groups, is 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. 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 workforce. Exogamy also means that representatives of other, potentially enemy groups will be present in your own group, exerting pressure to avoid conflicts.

Exogamic means of, or pertaining to exogamy. Exogamous people practice exogamy. "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: 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.