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
Endogamy is when one marries someone within one's own group.
The organizational advantage of endogamy is that few outsiders are brought into
the group, so inheritance and property are not dissipated among too many persons.
"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.