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ANTH 103 (38)
Lecture 19


1 Page
Spring 2014

Course Code
ANTH 103

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19th century study of Kinships
oEmphasis on facts of biology and human reproduction
oKinship was seen as something natural
Kinship systems
Denaturalizing kinship the 1960s and beyond
oDavid Schneider 1972
Kinship wars
oWestern biological models of production are folk categories
Uses folk categories as social construct
Argued that this system is not universal
oAs folk categories, these are symbolic, and should be treated as cultural
oThese models are not natural
oBlood is thicker than water reflects Euro-American thinking on kinship
and is inapplicable to other societies
Studies of kinship and culture from 1960s
oWhat does kinship really mean to people
oAn emphasis on practice (what people do) and process (and how they do
over time)
oAn emphasis on looking at kinship in globalizing societies
oExamines the fluid
Gender and Kinship Margery Wold
oWolf, Uterine Families
oWomans experience of kinship and family is very different from mens
oUterine families
A womans mother and her mothers family
oEvery women has to create one of these families for herself
oShe is never a permanent member of her fathers family
oHer husbands family becomes her soles family, but she is always
something of an outsider, and has to find indirect ways to achieve what
she wants
The new kinship studies 1980s onwards
oNew work on gender, sexuality, demography revitalized the study of
oChanges in patterns of social interaction
Changes in marriage, reproduction and the structure of family in
developed and developing societies
Lab able to produce children

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ANTH LECTURE 19  CENTRUY STUDY OF KINSHIPS • 19  century study of Kinships o Emphasis on facts of biology and human reproduction o Kinship was seen as something natural • Kinship systems o   o   o   • Denaturalizing kinship the 1960s and beyond o David Schneider 1972  Kinship wars o Western biological models of production are folk categories  Uses folk categories as social construct  Argued that this system is not universal o As folk categories, these are symbolic, and should be treated as cultural  constructs o These models are not natural o Blood is thicker than water reflects Euro­American thinking on kinship  and is inapplicable to other societies • Studies of kinship and culture from 1960s o What does kinship really mean to people o An emphasis on practice (what people do) and process (and how they do  over time)
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