Kinship Dynamics. What is kinship?. Sense of being related to another person(s) Set by rules (sometimes laws) Often taken for granted as being “natural” rather than cultural Cultures define “blood” relative differently. Kinship. Includes relationships through blood and through marriage.
Includes relationships through blood and through marriage.
¨KIN TYPES: The basic relationships anthropologists use to describe the actual contents of kinship categories.
1. Kin types are supposedly culture-free (ETIC) elements : what WE call these people.
2. Kin types are based upon biological relationships.
¨KIN TERMS: The labels for categories of kin that contain one or
more kin types (EMIC)
In other words….what THEY call people.
A kin type is used to designate each individual relationship e.g. Mother, father, mother’s brother, mother’s sister.
Each relationship between kin is described by a sequence of primary components strung together to indicate biological relationships.
Mother = M
Father = F
Sister = Z
Brother = B Mother’s Sister = MZ
Daughter = D Mother’s Sister’s Daughter = MZD
Son = S Sister’s Son = ZS
Husband = H
Wife = W
THESE ARE NOT KIN TYPES BECAUSE THEY CAN INCLUDE MORE THAN ONE RELATIONSHIPS: They are KIN TERMS!
KINDREDS: A concept different than that of “Kin”. Kindred are those to whom one is related and who come together for support and for special social occasions.
KIN VS. KINDREDS
KIN: All those individuals who are considered to be related to you; all members of your extended family.
Cognatic descent rules: both male and female parentage are used to establish relationships
Bilateral descent takes into account descent evenly on both the male and female sides
Unilineal Descent rules: rules restrict parental links exclusively to males or exclusively to females.
female “ego” of the diagram
male “ego” of the diagram
is married to
is cohabiting with
is divorced from
is separated from
is descended from
Is the sibling of
Patrilineal Kin ~ linked through males
Matrilineal Kin ~ linked through femalesal Kin - linked through females
Cross relatives ~ cross sex linked
The establishment of a cognatic ambilineal descent rule means that a lineage must be decided upon:
A series of relationships, culturally determined, which are not based upon birth or marriage
Some societies group their clans into even larger-scale unilineal descent groups called phratries. As with clans, the actual genealogical links are not clear and the phratry ancestors are usually mythical.
Entire societies may be divided into two large unilineal descent groups that have reciprocal responsibilities and privileges. These groups are known as moieties (from the French word for half). The distinction between phratries and moieties is not simply a matter of the number of groupings. Moieties are intended to produce a balanced opposition within a society. The constantly reinforced social and economic exchanges between them results in economic equality and political stability.
Societies with moieties usually consist of a few thousand people or less. In contrast, societies with phratries are often larger. As in the case of clans and phratries, moiety members usually cannot demonstrate all of the descent links back to their supposed common ancestor.
Membership in unilineages, clans, moieties, and phratries is inherited and usually continues throughout life. As a result, these unilineal descent groups often function successfully as long-term joint property owners and economic production teams.
[Source: Palomar Department of Behavioral Science http://anthro.palomar.edu/kinship/kinship_4.htm]
There are Six basic classes of kinship systems. All known kinship patterns are variants of one of these basic systems.
Bilineal descent cultures have a more fluid system of joining and breaking up
Research suggests divorce rate is lower in unilineal descent cultures
Gender affects ability to divorce