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exception

al piece that was focused primarily on ideology, Todd (1985)

emphasize

d the importance of marriage and inheritance systems as helping to

Nuptialit

y in Latin America

historic

European family system with an Asian one (e.g. Goody 1996; Hajnal

Latin Ame

rican nuptiality situation is both distinctive and of probable value

when tryi

ng to develop an overarching theory of marriage that can help us

understan

d the wide variety of forms marital union takes around the world.

1982) but

family systems in Latin America stay big enigmas.

The

situation of the recent past should not obscure the fact that it is

changing,

as the social meaning of union formation seems to be doing

form fami

ly

types.

He

assigned

Latin

America

two

family

systems,

both

associate

d with neo-local residence but having different marital and

inheritan

ce

customs.

Unfortunately,

the

empirical

substantiation

of

his

assertion

is difficult to understand and is therefore suspect but it does seem

correct i

n at least proposing that most households contain only one married

couple (s

ee

also

De

Vos

1995).

Yet

one

has

to

conclude

(tentatively)

that

the

everywher

e.

But

trying

to

understand

this

change

as

part

of

an

overall

social

change (s

ee Ogburn 1932) is hampered by a poor understanding of what family

political

processes,

economic

development

or

overall

population

change.

In

an

formation

traditionally

was.

Social

scientists

have

generally

neglected

study

of marria

ge and the family in Latin America in favor of studying the region’s

27

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