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Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANTA02H3
Professor
Maggie Cummings

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Week 5 Notes
Ignorance of the primitives
Paternity is a concept derived from its interrelations with other concepts and beliefs
Western View paternity is automatically a natural fact
oAn inference, that given reasonable intelligence and observation over time,
most people presumably would make
oBeliefs were thought to reflect either the absence of knowledge or the denial
of it
Denial beliefs were interpreted as a kind of religious dogma, the
truth of which was relevant in one context but not another
An attempt to deflect Oedipal hostility away from the father
oAbsence or denial of paternity allowed the beliefs to be classified as examples
of widespread theme of supernatural birth
Meaning of paternity is not primarily physiological, but bio-physical elements are
utilised for expressing social meaning
oEx. Gender, authority and kinship
Paternity has meant merely the recognition of a physiological link between a man
and a child analogous to that held to exist between a woman and the child she bears
Paternity is not he semantic equivalent of maternity
Maternity giving nurture and giving birth
Paternity begetting; primary, essential, and creative role
Theory of procreation is inscribed in symbolic form attitudes, values,
laws and institutions
Procreation beliefs from a Turkish Village
Male is to plant the seed and the woman is like the field
Perspective of another culture helps to illuminate our own
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