Anthropology Chapter 10- Kinship, Family, and Marriage

The system of meaning and power that cultures create to determine who is related to whom and to define their mutual expectations, rights, and responsibilities.
Nuclear family
The kinship unit of mother, father, and children.
Descent group
A kinship group in which primary relationships are traced through consanguine (“blood”) relatives.
A type of descent group that traces genealogical connection through generations by linking persons to a founding ancestor.
A type of descent group based on a claim to a founding ancestor but lacking genealogical documentation.
E. E. Evans-Pritchard
-Studied the Nuer group in the 1930s.
-Nuer groups were exogamous.
-Nuer groups constituted a patrilineal descent.
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Marriages within the group were not permitted.
Descent group constructing the group through the mother’s side of the family.
Descent group tracing kinship through the father’s side.
Kinship groups built through either one line or the other.
Ambilineal (also called bilateral or cognatic)
Trace kinship through both the mother and father.
Affinal relationship
A kinship relationship established through marriage and/or alliance, not through biology or common descent.
A socially recognized relationship that may involve physical and emotional intimacy as well as legal rights to property and inheritance.
Arranged marriage
Marriage orchestrated by the families of the involved parties.
Companionate marriage
Marriage built on love, intimacy, and personal choice rather than social obligations.
Jennifer Hirsch
-Studied love in a small western Mexican town.
-Love and intimacy are being transformed through globalization.
-“The economy of love is intricately interwoven with the political economy of migration.”
Marriage between one man and two or more women.
Marriage between one woman and two or more men.
A relationship between only two partners.
Serial monogamy
Monogamous marriages follow one after the other usually due to divorce or death.
Incest taboo
Cultural rules that forbid sexual sexual relations with certain close relatives.
Marriage to someone outside the kinship group.
Marriage to someone within the kinship group.
The gift of goods or money from the groom’s family to the bride’s family as part of the marriage process.
The gift of goods or money from the bride’s family to the groom’s family as part of the marriage process.
Janet Carsten
-Studied the Malay villagers on the island of Langkawi.
-Kinship is also acquired through life. Through co-residence and co-feeding.
-Malay children become close to adults other than their parents; like fostering.
Dana Davis
-Researched in a sheltered for battered women.
-Wrote “Battered Black Women and Welfare Reform.” Explains how people use to construct fictive kinship relationships during times of need.
-The women looked to each other to create the families they had left.
Gerd Baumann
-Studied Southall youth
-Youth called each other cousins, in the forms of friends who are kin and kin who are friends.
Carol Stack
-“All Our Kin: Strategies for Survival in a Black Community.”
-Kinship can even be a means to survive poverty
-Kinship networks included actual kin and fictive kin.
Veena Das
-Known for her work on violence, suffering, and the state, has explored these linkages in the aftermath of the disastrous partition of India and Pakistan.
-Focused on the more than 100 thousand women who were abducted and raped during the mayhem.
-These women were seen as bringing shame to them and their families.
Susan Kahn
-“Reproducing Jews: A Cultural Account of Assisted Conception in Israel.”; provides an example of the powerful intersection among reproduction, kinship, religion, and the state.
-Studies a group of single Jewish women who are bearing children through artificial insemination.
Family of orientation
The family group in which on is born, grows up, and develops life skills.
Family of procreation
The family group created when one reproduces and within which one rears children.
Kath Weston
-“Families we Choose.”; study of the construction of gay and lesbian families in San Francisco, provides an example of creating kinship through choice.
-His study reminds us not to assume that the natural characteristics of biological kinship ties are better than the actual behavior of chosen families.
Sara Dorrow
-Explored complicated intersection of economics, politics, national identities, race, gender, and class created through the adoption process.
-“Transnational Adoption: A Cultural Economy of Race, Gender, and Kinship.”; traces the journey of Chinese children adopted by US parents as they cross geographic, cultural. ethnic, and class divides.