In the Fontanabuona: Forms of Social Exchange and Kin Group Relations
In this chapter the world of kinship is analyzed as the central factor for family branches and nuclear families as they planned for inheritance and the transmission of their status to future generations, through dowry practices and marriage exchanges. The constitution of the dowry and the marriage exchange served as the fulcrum and catalyst of a series of transactions, based on frequently complex reciprocal arrangements within branches and kin groups or between branches of different kin groups. These transactions tended to redefine the positions of the social actors and enable the male lineages to retain their full control, in various ways, of the landed property. These social practices tended to create solidarity in relations with other kin groups and with the outside world.