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Fifth note

Course Code
Jennifer Jackson

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Kinship and relatedness
Anthropologists and kinship
Langkawi island, Malaysia
The Californians (Charis Thompson)
When it comes to relatedness and kinship, what exactly is the role of biology or
Blood is not, everywhere, thicker than water
The extent to which our own ideas about kinship and relatedness might just be cultural
Biology is powerful because we have a powerful ideology of biology
It does not exactly make us who we are and who we are related to - the idea that it
does is powerful
Whatever nature is or biology is, we can't take it for granted
Nature is reconfigured through many ways
Central preoccupations for anthropologists
Social evolutionary theory - idea that societies evolved from more primitive to more
civilized form - there was a natural evolution of societies
It is completely debunked
Kinship grew out of the context
Kinship was a marker primitiveness
The so called primitive societies were held together by kinship networks
The way we hold together is not through kinship ties, but through territorial
neighbourhoods - we have communities to hold us together
Looked at variations of how relatives were classified in different societies
Ideas about kinship - based on western ideas
Kinship varied from one place to another - built on same biological facts (sexual
All cultures saw kinship for being about reproduction
Reproduction was seen as sexual and a biological process
Study of kinship was how cultures constructed biological and reproductive relations
Assumed that everybody felt like we did
David Schneider
Not all societies have kinship
Don't have kinship in the sense of sexual and biological processes
Idea of kinship and sexual reproduction must be linked is a western folklore
No such thing as kinship studies because it does not exist in the same way all
around the world
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