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Lecture 39

ANP 443 Lecture 39: ANP 443


Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANP 443
Professor
A.Michael
Lecture
39

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ANP 443 Lecture 39
Extended families
Extended families are usually found in lower class societies, for example in North
America, there is a big increase in extended family households in lower class
Americans. This is said to be an adaptation to poverty. This is the primary unit of
social organization. Economic advantages: keeps land in tact and provides security
in times of crisis. Disadvantages: difficulties with tension over authority, inheritance,
loyalty, sibling rivalry, and challenges for in-marrying spouses. Partilineal extended
family is organized around a man, his sons, and the son's wives and children
(herding and farming). A matrilineal family is organized around a woman and her
daughters and the daughters; husbands and children.
What is a kinship system and what are its functions?
Culturally defined relationship established off the basis of blood ties. It provides
continuity between generations. A kinship defines a group on whom you can rely on
for aid. In TRIBAL and CHIEFDOM cultures, who you are kin to is VERY important. If
you want a new farm, you did so because you had enough family to help you.
What are descent groups and what are their functions? Which types of societies are
commonly organized by descent groups?
Descent groups are cross-generational affiliations between children and parents
common in tribal and chiefdom level societies. Functions: organize domestic life,
enculture children, allow transfer of property, carry out religious ritual, settle
disputes.
What is unilineal descent, what two forms can it take, and what are its advantages?
Descent based on links through paternal or maternal line
Advantages:
- Forms non overlapping descent groups that perpetuate themselves over time even
though membership changes
- Provide clear group membership for everyone in the society
Lineage
group of kin whose members trace descent from a known or demonstrated common
apical ancestor
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