ANTH 100 Lecture Notes - Lecture 13: Idiom, Nuclear Family, Bilateral Descent

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28 Nov 2013
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ANTH 100A Lecture 13 (October 28, 2013) Dr. Charles Menzies
Agenda: Kinship and Family
kinship as an idiom and structure of relationships
used to be backbone of anthropological studies; no longer is so, but
remains critical
the North American nuclear family
the Black family and homelessness
Kinship as an Idiom
way of talking about each other
way of thinking about human relationships
metaphors of shared substance
‘blood relatives’ - we share something
both ethereal and tangible concepts can be shared (genes vs souls)
socially constructed idiom to give meaningful connections
at times central to forming links
people create connections that act like family (similar to Friends)
friends that connect together and form urban family
central to way in which people create enduring ties to one another; ties
through time
can bring people completely estranged together
Kinship as a Structure
triangle for male, circle for female, = as a marriage bond, vertical single line as
descent bond, horizontal single line as codescent bond (siblings)
social relationship/set of social relationships
derived from genealogical mating, birth, nurturance
don’t always mean direct biological connection (might see people in
parent’s level as parents even though not related)
marriage - linking of 2+ people that means different things to different
people
can be based around reproduction
definition of marriage has been extended over time
descent - determining who inherits; biological connection
who has claim of the property after death
in Europe, everyone gets fair share
in Ireland, transfer of inheritance before death of parents to eldest
son, who had to look after parents, but kept all property
together
North American, trust set up, will can be set by owners
nurturance - adoption
Principles of Descent
bilateral descent - choose both sides to calculate descent
group is formed by people by connections made through mothers and
fathers equally
bilateral kindred
group of people who see themselves as linked through both parents
kidded - one person or group of siblings
unilineal descent
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