Departmental Papers (Sociology)

Title

Illegitimacy

Document Type

Book Chapter

Date of this Version

1992

Publication Source

Encyclopedia of Sociology

Start Page

876

Last Page

881

Abstract

Until the 1960s, it was widely assumed that marriage was a universal or nearly universal institution for licensing parenthood. Marriage assigned paternity rights to the fathers (and their families) and guaranteed social recognition and economic support to mothers and their offspring. According to Malinowski (1930), who first articulated "the principle of legitimacy," and to Davis (1939, 1949), who extended Malinowski's theory into sociology, marriage provides the added benefit to children of connecting them to a wider network of adults who have a stake in their long-term development.

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Date Posted: 14 June 2017