THE FAMILY IN THE GREAT CIVILIZATIONS
GENERAL COMPARISON OF PRIMITIVE AND CIVILIZED F AMILY SYSTEMS. America's material cult ure is far more advanced and complex than that of the Trobriands. Also, a description of the American economic system would require much more space than a description of the Trobriand economic system. Yet, in comparing family systems, America, does not seem to require a much greater space than does the more primitive people. Family systems in general have a certain complexity, a certain wealth of detail in th eir pattern , which is much the same in civil ized as in primitive societi es. Civilization does not elaborate the family system as it does the material culture and the economic organization. In some respects many primitive family systems are more complicat ed th an our own. On the other hand, it cannot be said that th e 'family system as a whole tends to become more impoverished as civili zation advances. It grows thinner in spots, but more elaborate elsewhere.