Chapter 10 Kinship Anthropology

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Kinship Defined

- Kinship refers to relationships that are based on blood or marriage
- Consanguineal: Based on blood
ex: brother, parents, etc.
- Relationships based on blood and marriage are culturally recognized by all societies
- Affinal: related by marriage
- Fictive kinship: relationships among individuals who recognize kinship obligations, even though the relationships are not based on either consanguineal or affinal ties

Partible Paternity

- Zumbaguan of Ecuador believe in partible parternity, the idea that a child can have more than one biological parent

Vertical Function

- Provides social continuity by binding together a number of successive generations (related by blood)

Horizontal Function

- Solidifies or ties together a society across a single generation through marriage (related by marriage)

Kinship diagrams

- All kinship diagrams are viewed from the reference of EGO, the person from whose point of view we are tracing the relationship

Principle of Kinship Classification

- Generation
- Sex or gender
- Lineality vs collaterality
- Consanguineal vs affinal kin
- Relative age
- Sex of the connecting relative
- Social condition
- Side of the family

Lineality vs collaterality

Lineality: Kin related in a single line such as son, father, grandfather
Collaterality: Kin relations traced through a linking relative

Descent Groups

- Relatives who live their lives in close proximity to one another

Characteristics of descent groups

- Have strong sense of identity
- Often share communally held property
- Provide economic assistance to one another
- Engage in mutual civic and religious ceremonies

Functions of Descent group

- Have strong sense of identity
- Often share communally held property
- Provide economic assistance to one another
- Engage in mutual civic and religious ceremonies
- Mechanism for inheriting property & political office
- Control behavior
- Regulate marriage
- Structure primary political units

Rules of Descent: 2 types

Unilineal
Cognatic Descent

Unilineal

- Includes patrilineal and matrilineal descent
- Trace their ancestry through mother's line or father's line, but not both (60%)

Cognatic Descent

- Includes double descent, ambilineal descnet, and bilateral descent (40%)
- A form of descent traced through both males and females

Patrilineal Descent

Most common unilineal descent group
- A man, his children, his brother's children, and his son's children all members of same descent group
- Females must marry outside their patrilineages
- A women's children belong to the husband's lineage rather than their own
- In a patrilineal descent system, a person is connected to relatives of both sexes related through males

Matrilineal Descent Groups

- a women, her siblings (all), her children, her sisters children and her daughter's children
- 15% of the unilineal descent groups found among contemporary societies are matrilineal
- Includes: Native Americans (Navajo, Cherokee, Iroquois), Truk & Trobrianders of the Pacific, Bemba, Ashanti and Yao of Africa

Matriarchy

- The rule of domination of a women over men
- Not to be confused with matrilineal descent
- Matriarchy only exists in myth; no society gives women greater authority than men
- Extant - current

Types of unilineal descent groups

- Lineages
- Clans
- Phratries
- Moieties

Lineage

A unilineal descent group whose members can trace their line of descent back to a common ancestor
- When descent traced back through male line - patrilineages
- When traces through female line - matrilineages

Clans

Unilineal descent groups, usually comprising ten or more generations, consisting of members who claim common ancestry even though they cannot trace step by step their exact connection

Phratries

Unilineal descent groups composed of related clans
- In societies in which phratries are found, the actual connections among the various clans usually are not recognized

Moieties

Complementary descent groups that result from the division of a society into halves

Corporate Nature of unilineal descent groups

- Lineage members see themselves as members of the group rather than individuals. They shape an individuals identity.
- Regulate marriage because large numbers of family must approve of marriages
- Property regulated by group rather than by individual
- Function as political units that settle disputes within the lineage
- Units have their own set of religious deities
- The kinship group provides security and protection for individual members

Types of cognatic descent

- Double Descent
- Ambilineal Descent
- Bilateral Descent

Double descent

A system of descent in which individuals receive some rights and obligations from the father's side of the family and others from the mother's side
- In such societies an individual belongs to both the mother's and father's lineage
- Rare; only about 5% of world's cultures practice it

Ambilineal descent

- A form of descent in which a person chooses to affiliate with a kin group through either the male or the female line

Bilateral descent

- A type of kinship system in which individuals emphasize both their mother's kin and their father's kin relatively equally
Kindred: all of the relatives a person recognized in a bilateral kinship system
- bilateral systems give rise to a situation in which no two individuals (except siblings) have the same kindred
- the kindred has no founding ancestor, precise boundaries, or contunity over time
- kindred groups cannot perform the same functions such as joint ownership of property, common economic activities, regulation of marriage or mutual assistance as unilineal groups

Residence patterns

- Patrilocal residence
- Matrilocal residence
- Avunculocal residence
- Ambilocal residence
- Neolocal residence

Patrilocal residence

The married couple lives with or near the relatives of the husband's father (69%)

Matrilocal residence

Married couple lives with or near the relatives of the wife (13%)

Avunculocal residence

Married couple lives with or near the husband's mother's brother (4%)

Ambilocal residence

Married couple may choose to live with either the relatives of the wife or the relatives of the husband (9%)

Neolocal residence

Married couple has its own place of residence apart from the relatives of either spouse (5%)

Kinship and the modern world

- Reproductive technologies - such as in vitro fertilization, surrogate motherhood, and sperm bank, that make the reckoning kin relationships more complex

Segmentation

Process that takes place within a lineage where by small subdivisions of a lineage oppose one another in some social situations but coalesce and become allies in other social situations

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