chapter
preference and prescription
Pages 4

Because many elementary structures involve †cross-cousin marriage, Homans and †Schneider (1955) assumed that Lévi-Strauss was trying to explain the widespread preference for marriage among first cross-cousins, but †Needham (1962) argued that this was a misunderstanding. Elementary structures are not just unusually strong preferences for marrying specific close relatives, but global systems of classification, whereby prescriptive *relationship terminologies divide up a person’s entire *kinship universe into marriageable and non-marriageable categories. The marriageable category may include cross-cousins, but is not limited to them.