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In contrast, plough agriculture is associated with private property and marriage tends to be monogamous, to keep the property within the nuclear family.

Close family are the preferred marriage partners so as to keep property within the group. Sylvia Yanagisko argues, for example, that there are a number of societies including parts of Japan, Southern Italy, and China, that do not support Goody's claim that dowry is a form of female inheritance of male property.

This joint family controlled this part of the dowry, which they used to help fund their own daughter/sister's dowries.

This practice differs from the majority of Sub-Saharan African societies that practice "homogenous inheritance" in which property is transmitted only to children of the same sex as the property holder.

These latter African societies are characterized by the transmission of the "bride price," the money, goods or property given by the groom or his family to the parents of the bride (not the bride herself).

Dowry contrasts with the related concepts of bride price and dower.

While bride price or bride service is a payment by the groom or his family to the bride's parents, dowry is the wealth transferred from the bride's family to the groom or his family, ostensibly for the bride.

The wife was entitled to her dowry at her husband's death.

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