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Kinship Diagramming. ANTH 321: Kinship and Social Organization Kimberly Porter Martin, PH.D. What Is Kinship?. DEFINITION The rules and standards for organizing into families. We use kinship diagrams to visually understand kinship groups. Aspects of Kinship.

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Kinship diagramming
Kinship Diagramming

ANTH 321: Kinship and Social Organization

Kimberly Porter Martin, PH.D.


What is kinship
What Is Kinship?

DEFINITION

The rules and standards for organizing into families

We use kinship diagrams to visually understand kinship groups


Aspects of kinship
Aspects of Kinship

All societies in the world divide up kin by three

criteria:

  • Gender

  • Generation

  • Collaterality

    Kinship is diagrammed using symbols to

    indicate these three aspects of each relative.


What is kinship diagramming
What Is Kinship Diagramming?

  • Kinship Diagrams are the visual presentation of kinship relationships through symbols

  • The main symbols used are shown at the right

  • The reference point for a kinship diagram is always one individual called EGO

Male =

Female =

Siblings =

Marriage = =

Parents &

offspring


What does your kinship diagram look like
What Does Your Kinship Diagram Look Like?

  • Begin with “ego”

  • Put in a spouse if you are married

  • Put in any children that you have

  • Draw in your parents

  • And their parents (your grandparents)

  • Then your parents’ siblings

  • Then your parents’ sibling’s children

  • Put mothers and fathers next to each other without an = if they had children but were not married

  • Put a / through an = for a divorce

  • Put a / through a person if they have died

    Note that your kinship diagram does NOT look like the Standard Kinship Diagram.


What is a patrilineage
What is a Patrilineage?

DEFINITION

Relationships and/or a descent group based on male links only


Diagraming a patrilineage
Diagraming a Patrilineage

The diagram below show all relatives in EGO’s patrilineage in blue. Notice that if a person is in EGO’s patrilineage, all siblings of that person are also in EGO’s patrilineage. EGO’s mother is not part of his patrilineage, nor are any of her family members. His mother is part of another patrilineage that includes 3, 10, 12, 13, 23 and 24.


Patrilineal inheritance of property
Patrilineal Inheritance of Property

The diagram below shows how property is typically inherited in a patrilineal system. The blue lines show how inheritance moves from one male individual in a generation to male individuals in succeeding generations.


What is a matrilineage
What is a Matrilineage?

DEFINITION

Relationships and/or a descent group based on female links only


Diagramming a matrilineage
Diagramming a Matrilineage

The diagram below show all relatives in EGO’s matrilineage in pink. Notice that if a person is in EGO’s matrilineage, all siblings of that person are also in EGO’s patrilineage. EGO’s father is not part of his matrilineage, nor are any of his family members. His father is part of another matrilineage that includes 2, 6, 7, 9, 15 and 16.


Matrilineal inheritance of property
Matrilineal Inheritance of Property

The diagram below shows how property is typically inherited in a matrilineal system. Notice that females are the links that connect men who will inherit. The pink lines show how inheritance moves from one male individual in a generation to male individuals in succeeding generations. Women do not typically manage property, even in a matrilineal system.


Mother s brother in matrilineages
Mother’s Brother in Matrilineages

In matrilineal societies, EGO’s mother’s brother is a very important relative, because he is the one who controls the property that EGO will inherit. EGO is the mother’s brother of his sister’s son(s).

EGO will therefore manage his matrilineage’s property for his sister’s sons to inherit. EGO’s own children will not inherit from him. They will inherit from their mother’s (EGO’s future wife’s) brother(s).


What are nuclear family members
What Are Nuclear Family Members?

Nuclear family members are considered the most important relatives in our culture, but not necessarily in other cultures. They consist of a husband and wife and their offspring. In our standard kinship diagram you can identify seven nuclear families. The nuclear family made up of 1, 2, 6, 8 and 9 used to be a nuclear family, but the children have grown and started their own nuclear families, as have the children in the nuclear family formed by 3, 4, 10, 12 and 13. There are five nuclear families shown in EGO’s parents generation. They are:

5, 6, 15 and 16 7, 8 17 and 18

9, 10, 19, 20 and EGO 11, 12, 21 and 22

13, 14, 23 and 24


Diagramming nuclear families
Diagramming Nuclear Families

In the diagram below, all the different nuclear families are shown indifferent colors. Notice that the adults in EGO’s parent’s generation are members of two different nuclear families.


What are cross and parallel relatives
What Are Cross and Parallel Relatives?

Many societies recognize classes of relatives that we do not recognize. These classes of relatives seem arbitrary and illogical to us, however, they are central to understanding how these societies organize their kinship systems. Two classes of relatives that are important in other societies are Cross Relatives and Parallel Relatives.

Parallel relatives are the same sex siblings of EGO’s

parents and the children of the same sex siblings.

Cross Relatives are the opposite sex siblings of EGO’s

parents and the children of these opposite sex

siblings.


Diagramming cross and parallel relatives
Diagramming Cross and Parallel Relatives

In the diagram below,

Parallel relatives are colored in magenta

Cross relatives are colored in lavendar


What is kinship terminology about
What is Kinship Terminology About?

There are six ways of organizing and classifying members of EGO’s kin group. Each of these uses a different set of terms to refer to relatives. We study these different kinship terminologies because they reflect the kinds of relationships EGO is expected to have with various members of his family. The six types of kinship terminologies are named after the first exotic culture that was found to use that particular pattern of family relationships.


The six kinds of kinship terminology
The Six Kinds of Kinship Terminology

Eskimo Omaha

Iroquois Hawaiian

Crow Sudanese


What is eskimo kinship terminology
What Is Eskimo Kinship Terminology?

Eskimo Terminology is like what mainstream Americans use to refer to their relatives. Nuclear family members call each other by a set of terms that differentiate gender and generation. Collateral relatives are labeled by generation and gender in the parent generation, but only by generation in Ego’s generation.


What is iroquois kinship terminology
What Is Iroquois Kinship Terminology?

Iroquois terminology gives different status to parallel relatives than to cross relatives. Parallel relatives are treated like nuclear family members, and called mother and father in EGO’s parent generation, and brother and sister in EGO’s generation. Cross relatives are considered to be more distant and have aunt, uncle and cousin-like terms.


What is crow kinship terminology
What Is Crow Kinship Terminology?

Crow terminology also gives different status to parallel relatives than to cross relatives. Parallel relatives on EGO’s mother’s and father’s side are treated like nuclear family members, and called mother and father in EGO’s parent generation, and brother and sister in EGO’s generation. Cross Relatives on EGO’s mother’s side are called uncle and cousin. However, cross-relatives on the father’s side (including Dad) are so unimportant that they are labeled with only two terms: male member of father’s lineage and female member of father’s lineage. Usually associated with matrilineal societies.


What is omaha kinship terminology
What Is Omaha Kinship Terminology?

Omaha terminology is the mirror image of Crow terminology. Parallel relatives on EGO’s mother’s and father’s side are treated like nuclear family members, and called mother and father in EGO’s parent generation, and brother and sister in EGO’s generation. Cross Relatives on EGO’s father’s side are called uncle and cousin. However, cross-relatives on the mother’s side (including Mom) are so unimportant that they are labeled with only two terms: male member of mother’s lineage and female member of mother’s lineage. Usually associated with patrilineal societies.


What is hawaiian kinship terminology
What Is Hawaiian Kinship Terminology?

Hawaiian kin terms are quite simple. Every consanguineal relative in EGO’s parent’s generation is a mother or a father, and every consanguineal relative in EGO’s generation is a brother or a sister.


What is sudanese kinship terminology
What Is Sudanese Kinship Terminology?

Sudanese kin terms assign a separate term to every relationship that EGO has, specifying the exact links to EGO.


Parallel cousin marriage a common form of endogamy based on kinship relationships
Parallel Cousin MarriageA Common Form of Endogamy Based on Kinship Relationships

Marriage to Ego’s

Mother’s Sister’s Daughter OR Father’s Brother’s Daughter*

*Note that ego will usually have multiple MSs and MSDs and multiple FBs and FBDs


Cross cousin marriage a common form of endogamy based on kinship relationships
Cross Cousin MarriageA Common Form of Endogamy Based on Kinship Relationships

Marriage to Ego’s

Mother’s Brother’s Daughter OR Father’s Sister’s Daughter*

*Note that ego will usually have multiple MBs and MBDs and multiple FSs and FSDs


Yanomamo kinship and marriage a practical application
Yanomamo Kinship and MarriageA Practical Application

Patrilineal Inheritance, Iroquois Kin Terms, Polygyny Preferred, Cross Cousin Marriage Preferred, Brother Marriage Exchange


Study guide
Study Guide

Kinship Nuclear families

Gender Parallel relatives

Generation Cross relatives

Collaterality Kinship terminology

Kinship diagramming Eskimo terminology

Standard kinship diagram Hawaiian terminology

Patrilineage Iroquois terminology

Patrilineal inheritance Omaha terminology

Matrilineal Crow terminology

Matrilineal inheritance Sudanese terminology

Mother’s brother Cross cousin marriage

Nuclear families Parallel cousin marriage