I use economics to investigate marriage patterns. We can imagine a marriage market in which people are "shopping" for their partners and bargain for the prices. This approach is quite useful to understand a set of observed marriage patterns. This approach offers explanations to why educated people tend to marry each other, for example.
Go to almost any family reunion, and you’ll find some of the same things: gossip and posturing, old photos and favorite recipes, brand new babies and aged ancestors. For anthropologist Jennifer Cole, these often-awkward gatherings are rich opportunities for fieldwork that offer a glimpse into the emergence of a transnational culture as it forms.