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Status, role and kinship. All cultures recognize personal differences and developmental differences differences by age and sex and differences based on consanguineal and affinal kinship. Statuses …. Statuses are the labels assigned to recognized differences among people.

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Status role and kinship
Status, role and kinship

  • All cultures recognize

    • personal differences and developmental differences

    • differences by age and sex and

    • differences based on consanguineal and affinal kinship


Statuses
Statuses …

  • Statuses are the labels assigned to recognized differences among people.

  • Societies, families, and groups in general are constellations of statuses.


And roles
… and roles

  • Roles comprise the set of rules for acting out statuses properly – within limits that can be more or less rigid.

  • The limits of these rules for role behavior are a source of debate in many societies.


Ascribed and achieved statuses
Ascribed and achieved statuses

  • Ascribed: birth order, sex, family membership, physical characteristics

  • Achieved: college student, carpenter, accountant

  • Statuses must be filled each generation


Ratio of ascribed achieved statuses
Ratio of ascribed/achieved statuses

  • Societies differ in the ratio of achieved/ascribed statues.

  • In foraging societies, most statuses are ascribed and are tied to age and sex.

  • In technologically advanced societies, most statuses are achieved.

    • Sex, especially, has come to be less and less important in determining statuses and roles in those societies.


  • Social class is still partly an ascribed status in England.

  • Because England is a technologically advanced society, status ascription is anomalous.

  • But the phenomenon of status ascription in England is diminishing.

    • The rate of social change is not equal in all societies, but over the long term, infrastructural convergence is leading to structural convergence - - that is, to achievement-based statuses.


The meaning of statuses can change
The meaning of statuses can change

  • Consider the meaning of status based on gender and age:

    • What is adolescence? In 1900, people 20 years old were no longer adolescents. Today, adolescence may last until 30.

    • What is old age?

    • How has the meaning of the status “mother” and “father” changed over the last 30 years?


Concurrent and serial statuses
Concurrent and serial statuses

  • Statuses can be held concurrently and serially:

    • Sister/brother and student are concurrent statuses. We change our behavior, depending on which status we occupy at a given moment.

    • Being a married man or woman and being a mother or father are serial statuses.


Indicators of status
Indicators of status

  • Insignia

    • Fraternity and sorority pins

  • Dress and accessories

    • Backpacks vs. attaché cases

  • Ornaments

    • Jewelry and makeup

  • Hairstyle

  • Speech style




Kinship
Kinship

  • Kinship has always been important for understanding social relations.

  • Kinship, however, is less important today than it once was in technologically advanced societies.

  • In our society, other institutions have taken the place of family for teaching the young their vocations; for passing on religious knowledge; for taking care of the sick and the aged.


Why we study kinship
Why we study kinship

  • Kinship rules define how social ties of descent and marriage are established and elaborated and how these ties relate to all other areas of behavior, like economic and political behavior.


Social vs biological parenthood
Social vs. biological parenthood

  • The distinction is recognized everywhere and provision is made in all societies for socially defined kin.

    • Godparents

    • Adoptions

    • Foster parents


The basis of kinship terms
The basis of kinship terms

  • Kinship systems are based on recognition of distinctions in:

    • Generation

    • Relative age

    • Lineality (and collaterality)

    • Sex of relative, sex of speaker, sex of intervening relative (cross- or parallel cousins – mbd vs fzd, for example)

    • Consanguineal vs. affinal relatives



Kin terms in english
Kin terms in English

  • mother niece

  • father nephew

  • sister m-i-l, f-i-l

  • brother s-i-l, d-i-l

  • grand mother b-i-l, z-i-l

  • grandfather

  • uncle

  • aunt

  • great uncle

  • great aunt

  • Cousin


The fuzzy edges of kinship systems
The fuzzy edges of kinship systems

  • At some level, everyone is related to everyone else on Earth. Kinship systems place boundaries on whom we recognize as our relatives.

  • The boundaries are fuzzy. We can see the fuzzy boundaries of kinship in our society: What do you call your:

    • Wife’s sister’s husband

    • Husband’s brother’s wife?

    • Sister’s husband? Wife’s brother?


Other systems
Other systems

  • Spanish has clear kinship terms for the relatives that are at the fuzzy boundaries of the English-language kinship system:

    • concuñado, concuñada

    • consuegro, consuegra

  • That is: co-brothers[sisters]-in-law and co-fathers[mothers]-in-law




Unilineal and bilateral kinship
Unilineal and bilateral kinship urban areas, like Miami and New York.

  • About 70% of the world’s kin systems are unilineal.

  • Matrilineal kinship is relatively rare:

    • 30% matrilineal

    • 60% patrilineal

    • 10% dual lineal


  • Matrilineal urban areas, like Miami and New York. : in each generation, children are assigned to the kin group of their mother.

  • Patrilineal: in each generation, children are assigned to the kin group of their father.

  • Bilateral: no lineal descent rule.



Bilateral rules
Bilateral rules mythical links to a common ancestor.

  • Bilateral = no lineal descent rule, but it does not mean a lack of rules for marriage.

  • The U.S. is a bilateral system – alsko known as the Eskimo type – common among highly mobile people and found at both ends of the socioeconomic complexity scale.


  • Cousin marriage
    Cousin marriage mythical links to a common ancestor.

    • G.P. Murdock: H/G groups are always exogamous in order to develop exchange.

      • But 75% of marriages among the Iban of Maylaysia are to first and second cousins (J. D. Freeman)

      • Jack Goody argues that the prohibition against cousin marriage in European society was to discourage the accumulation of wealth in the nobility.


    Descent groups
    Descent groups mythical links to a common ancestor.

    • People in bilateral systems do not remember the names of their great-grandparents.

    • By contrast, people in unilineal systems may be able to recite five or six generations of names.


    Corporate descent groups
    Corporate descent groups mythical links to a common ancestor.

    • Descent groups are often corporate groups that hold land and that have a call on the loyalty of members.

    • Two theories to account for the existence of corporate descent groups:

      • the need for order in stateless societies

      • the need for management of swidden agricultural land in pre-irrigation (pre-state) societies with long fallow periods


    Lineages and clans
    Lineages and clans mythical links to a common ancestor.

    • Lineages are often grouped into clans:

      • Common (perhaps mythical) totem ancestors, without common links.

    • Clans may be combined into phratries or into moieties.

    • The Kariera four-system case



    Kinds of marriage
    Kinds of marriage with the nuclear family and the generalized kindred as the core groups.

    • Monogamy: 24% of the world's cultures

    • Polygyny: 70%

    • Polyandry: 1%

      • In Tibet, serfs had a fixed amount of land that could be passed to sons.

      • Only these landed serfs practiced polyandry.


    Postmarital residence
    Postmarital residence with the nuclear family and the generalized kindred as the core groups.

    • Neolocal, matrilocal, patrilocal – and ambilocal

    • Hypothesis: residence should follow the gender that produces the most food, as in patrilocal bands and many matrilocal horticulturalists.

    • This is not the case


    The embers study of residence
    The Embers’ study of residence with the nuclear family and the generalized kindred as the core groups.

    • Carol and Melvin Ember tested the hypothesis that warfare was an intervening variable.

    • If a community is at war with close neighbors, then it is advantageous to keep men (through sentiment) nearby.

    • If warfare is low or with distant groups, then this will result in high domestic production for women and residence will tend to be matrilocal

    • Here are the Embers’ findings:


    RESIDENCE with the nuclear family and the generalized kindred as the core groups.

    MATRILOCAL PATRILOCAL

    EXTERNAL 5 3

    WARFARE

    INTERNAL 1 24

    source


    Goldstein s study of tibetan polyandry
    Goldstein's study of Tibetan polyandry with the nuclear family and the generalized kindred as the core groups.

    • Two or more brothers take a wife.

    • Compare to primogeniture in 19th century England:

      • 3 brothers take 3 wives

      • each wife bears 3 sons

      • 3 brothers take 1 wife who bears 3 sons

    • In the second generation

      • 9 sons take 9 wives who produce 27 sons.

      • Third generation, 27 grandsons take 27 wives who produce 81 sons


    Explanations of the tibetan case
    Explanations of the Tibetan case with the nuclear family and the generalized kindred as the core groups.

    • Female infanticide and the supposed control of population growth

    • Poor land

    • But: there is no institutionalized infanticide and the land is not that poor.


    Polyandry and population growth
    Polyandry and population growth with the nuclear family and the generalized kindred as the core groups.

    • When Goldstein did his work in Limi the ratio was 60/53 F/M among 15-35 year olds.

    • FP marriages in Limi had 2.35 children and 31% of females were unmarried.

    • Married women had 3.3 children and unmarried women had 0.7 children.


    Etic reasons for the tibetan case
    Etic reasons for the Tibetan case with the nuclear family and the generalized kindred as the core groups.

    • Land is hard to farm and needs to be kept intact.

    • In traditional times, serfs practiced FP but not the landless or the lords.

    • Serfs owed labor to lords: one brother did the corvée, one tended animals, the wife did the agriculture.

    • More brothers went into trade.


    Tibetan polyandry today
    Tibetan polyandry today with the nuclear family and the generalized kindred as the core groups.

    • It is declining among the poor as new economic opportunities open up.

    • It is practiced more among the middle class that is keeping land holdings intact.


    What explains kinship systems
    What explains kinship systems? with the nuclear family and the generalized kindred as the core groups.

    • Kinship systems comprise a selection of the possible distinctions that can be made: sex of intervening relative, collaterality, etc.

    • So far, there is no explanation for all the variations in kinship systems.


    • We do know that matrilineal systems are fragile and become bilateral or patrilineal under conditions of urbanization.

    • And we know that foragers are likely to be patrilineal and patrilocal. This is probably because it is easier for women to learn how to extract plant food from a new environment than for men to learn how to extract protein out of new environment.


    Restrictions on sexuality
    Restrictions on sexuality bilateral or patrilineal under conditions of urbanization.

    • Societies differ on the kinds of sexuality that are permitted, restricted, or encouraged.

    • Abortion, famine, war, colonization, and homosexuality restrict reproduction.

    • Accounting for differences in emphasis on virginity and tolerance for homosexuality.


    Dowry
    Dowry bilateral or patrilineal under conditions of urbanization.

    • Dowry is associated with restrictions on female sexuality and involves wealth transfer from bride’s family to groom’s family.

    • Occurs in < 3% of societies and in 8% of societies with economic transactions associated with marriage.


    Dowry1
    Dowry bilateral or patrilineal under conditions of urbanization.

    • Not the mirror of bride price

    • Occurs where women contribute little to subsistence, there is a high degree of social stratification, and monogamy.

    • But many such societies do not practice dowry.

    • Declared illegal in India in 1961 


    Dowry deaths
    Dowry deaths bilateral or patrilineal under conditions of urbanization.

    • Bride deaths have increased:

      • 1982 389

      • 1985 999

      • 1988 2209

      • 1990 4835

      • 1993 4936

      • 1995 4811

      • 1997 6000

      • 2000 6995

        (the facts are in dispute, but it is generally accepted that the problem has been increasing).


    Kinship and economics
    Kinship and economics bilateral or patrilineal under conditions of urbanization.

    • Acrury’s study of rural Kentucky, 1900-1980

    • 1900 barter and subsistence agriculture

    • 1960 mostly farmers but with food for sale, not for subsistence

    • 1980 factory, commerce, and service economy is 80% and 20% is farming



    Family structure and social change
    Family structure and social change families where head of HH was 45-54 were complex

    • This shows how sensitive family structure is to social and economic change.

    • We see this now, with female headed households on the rise at both ends of the socioeconomic spectrum.

    • Among the poor, it is an adaptation to circumstances that they did not choose.

    • Note again the emic and etic explanations.


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