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Some entered into polygamous marriages, which only a few men could afford.

The Center for Advance Research on Language Acquisition goes a step further, defining culture as shared patterns of behaviors and interactions, cognitive constructs and understanding that are learned by socialization.

Thus, it can be seen as the growth of a group identity fostered by social patterns unique to the group.

The most common marital relationship among peasants and the urban lower class was known as as legitimate marriage, but in lowerclass communities, these relationships were considered normal and proper.

The husband and wife often made an explicit agreement about their economic relationship at the beginning of a marriage.

Marital relationships have changed somewhat since the mid-twentieth century. Elite wives, once exclusively homemakers surrounded by servants, entered the labor force in increasing numbers in the 1970s and the 1980s.

The legal rights of married women, including rights to property, were expanded through legislation in the 1980s.

In the 1960s, this pattern began to change among Protestant families who belonged to churches that strongly encouraged legal marriage and provided affordable weddings.

It was not unusual for peasants to have more than one marital relationship.

Men and women both valued children and both contributed to child care, but women generally bore most of the burden.

Parents were proud of their children, regardless of whether they were born in a marital relationship or as "outside children." Parents took pains to ensure that all of their children received equal inheritances.

Civil and religious marriages were the norm, and the "best" families could trace legally married ancestors to the nineteenth century.