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Lecture 6

Lecture 6 - Kinship and Beyond - October 16.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Tania Li

October 16, 2012. Lecture 6 – Kinship and Beyond  Society = societal structure = matrix of duties, rights, division of labour, norms, social control o Individuals are not random, they followed structured paths/movements o These paths depend on circumstances of birth, family wealth, where you live, what schools are nearby/within reach, etc.  Kinship and how/why it came to be studied o As a way to organize sex, reproduction, inheritance o As social structure – who you can count on for what o As process – (re)produced through action o As a way of determining what children/offspring fit in where o Determines who those people are that can be counted on, specifically in isolated societies where they may not have a law force  Marriage and why is it so important o Forms alliances between groups and changes relationships between people within these groups o Defines households, residence, who lives where (spatial pattern) o Transfers rights/ownership over woman, children  Means of carrying on a lineage  Alliances o Incest thought of as taboo – where to find marriage partners?  Can’t marry sisters, need to reproduce and carry on lineage, need to seek a partner outside o Exogomy: marrying outside group o Endogamy: marry inside group (certain categories of cousins, defined rules about who within the group can marry without the incest taboo)  Keeps things (property, resources, people, etc.) more “in the family”  Affines (in-laws) as Friends and Enemies o Claude Levi-Strauss defined the “Elementary Structure of Kinship” as: man, his sister, her husband o Nuer saying: “They are our enemies, we marry them.”  Basically saying that you can’t marry within your family/lineage/patrilineage/matrilineage, but most people outside of that in some societies are enemies; often the two groups may be at war or in conflict so marriage is a tense matter  Household Formation o Conjugal: centered around the married pair o Non-conjugal: married pair is not the center of the household/family unit (some cultures/societies might have the husband and wife remain living with their own families, can be due to lack of housing or mere culture practice o Patrilocal (live with husband’s family), matrilocal (live with wife’s family), neolocal (set up own, new household as husband and wife) o Nuclear (monogamous, neolocal): husband, wife, kids, and that’s it o Monogamous/polygamous: one partner vs. multiple partners o Polygynous (multiple wives), polyandrous (multiple husbands) o Extended (grandparents) o Joint (siblings and their children/ aunts, uncles, their partners and their children/your cousins) o Blended o Family by choice (household which is formed by people who are close, live together, and think of themselves as a family)  What is a parent? o Social father = pater  Actually raises the child/does the parenting o Biological father = genitor
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