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Nov 1912 Kinship and Descent.pdf

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University of Alberta
Dan Syrotuik

Nov 19/12: Kinship and Descent November-16-12 8:46 AM Why Study Kinship? - Kinship determines lines of inheritance. - Kinship determines social obligations. ○ Obligations only truly exist between parents and children (legal obligations) - Kinship determines potential marriage partners ○ Who you can and cannot marry. You must marry outside your family group. - Kin play important economic, social, political and religious roles in most societies. ○ In many societies to become an adult you must pass certain rituals and many times it's your family that gets you through this. - Just like marriage, Kinship is the foundation to many societies. Kinship - Kinship refers to the relationshipsthat are based on blood (consanguineal relatives) or marriage (affinal relatives) ○ In our society affinal = inlaws Functions of Kinship - The Vertical function of kinship provides social continuity by bindingtogether a number of successive generations ○ Used to pass on education, tradition, property, and political office. - The Horizontal function of kinship tends to solidify or tie together a society through the process of marriage. ○ Used to form alliances with other kinship groups. ○ Can create alliances to end warfare, create economical ties Descent - Descent is the tracing of kinship relations through birth or relations with a parent or parents. ○ Descent is a smaller subset of your relatives - Unilineal descent is a kinship system where the child is related by descent to only one parent (mother or father). - Bilineal descent is a k
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