ANTHRO LECTURE NOTES NOV 19
- in NA we think of marriage as something only two
people are involved in.
WHY DO WE STUDY KINSHIP?
- kinship determines lines of inheritance (not always
about material goods, also about titles and roles you
will have to play)
- kinship determines social obligations
- kinship determines potential marriage partners
- kin play important economic, social, political, and
religious roles in MOST societies.
ie. in many societies, to become an adult, you must go
through a rite of passage to become an adult.
- just like marriage, kinship is the foundation of
- you can be related in many ways:
CONSANGUINEAL RELATIVES - related by blood
AFFINAL RELATIVES - related by marriage (in our
FUNCTIONS OF KINSHIP
VERTICAL FUNCTION OF KINSHIP: provides social
continuity by binding together a number or successive
generations ● used to pass on Education, Tradition, Porperty,
and Political Office
HORIZONTAL FUNCTION OF KINSHIP: solidifies or ties
together a society through the process of marriage.
● used to form alliances with other kinship groups
*horizontal and vertical refer to reading a geneology
- smaller subset of your relatives, the people you will
trace your ancestors from, your LINEAGE.
- in NA we don't usually distinguish between kinship
and descent but most societies do
DESCENT - the tracing of kinship relations through
birth or rleations with a parent or paretns
1. UNILINEAL DESCENT is a kinship system where the
child is related by descent to only one parent
(mother or father)
2. BILINIAL DESCENT is a kinship system where the
child is related by descent to both parents.
UNILINEAL DESCENT SYSTEMS
● PATRILINEAL - father's blood line
● MATRILINEAL - mother's blood line
● AMBILINEAL - choice of either above (usually made
by parents) *your own lineage does not change when you marry, only
your children's follows the father (patri) or mother
- some societies practice lineage exogamy (this is why
some socieites (patri) you can marry your cross cousins
and in some (matri) you can marry your parralel
- people have different relationships with their
descent group (lineage) than they do with their kinship
- in matrilineal, if a man dies, he passes on his
inheritance to his sister's children, not his own.
- going back to AVUNCULOCAL RESIDENCE - when a couple
gets married, they go live with the GROOM'S MOTHER'S
BROTHER. So I would go live with my Uncle Randy when I
get married. In some matrilineal descent systems,
though the inheritance is passed on through the female
line, it is the males who pass it on THROUGH the female
line. So I would die and pass on my inheritance to my
sister's male children. *If there is no brother, you go
to live with the closest male relative in his mother's
*all societies that practice AVUNCULOCAL RESIDENCE are
matrilineal, but not all matrilineal lineages practice
avunculocal residence (on test)
- with Ambilineal, usually the parents decide which
lineage you will follow. How do parents make the
decision?: whoever you can hope to inherit more from.
In ambilineal lineages, one you choose, you cannot
change later (when one sid