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Chapter 9

Week 7 - Harris Chapter 9, Kane Chapter 13, 14, 15, 16, Course Reader Geertz.doc

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University of Guelph
ANTH 1150
Satsuki Kawano

Harris Chapter 9 Pg. 143 • Kinship is emic, culturally constructed concepts Kinship- relationships that are base on parentage through decent, known as consanguineal relations, and to relatedness through marriage, known as affinal relations • Anthropologists distinguish between father and actually genitor/biological father • Culturally defined mother is genetrix/biological mother Kinship system consists of: 1. Terms used to classify various categories of consanguineal and affinal kin 2. Terms used to identify kin that are more socially significant than others 3. Expected rights and obligations that different categories of kin have toward one another Decent- is the belief that certain persons play an important role in the creation, birth and nurturance of certain children • Every society has some sort of theory for decent • It is a preservation of spirit of people and a symbolic immortality • Western folk= children have same “blood” as parents • Blood relatives are close relatives • Ashanti of West Africa believe blood is contributed only by mother • Trobrianders believe semen doesn't play an important role but rather pregnancy occurs when a deceased member of matrilineage enters woman body, father only help develop fetus through sexual intercourse • Bari of Venezuela believe multiple biological fathers if more than one man has sexual intercourse with a woman during pregnancy • Mehinacu of Brazil believe fetus is built from sexual acts therefore anyone who has sex “makes the baby” Kinship Symbols Fa = Father Mo = Mother So = Son Da = Daughter Br = Brother Si = Sister C = Child Hu = Husband Wi = Wife • Kinship diagrams viewed from reference point called ego • Kinship diagram is ego centered Cognatic and Unilineal Descent • Decent relationship appoints different duties, rights, privileges and can determine name, family, residence, rank, property, ethnicity, nationality and other statuses • Two types of decent rules are unilineal decent rules and cognatic decent rules Cognatic Decent Rules – use both male and female parentage to establish any of the previously mentioned duties, rights and privileges • Bilateral Descent- The most common form os cognatic rule is the reckoning of kinship evenly and symmetrically along maternal and paternal links in ascending and descending generations through individuals of both sexes • Ambilineal Descent – The second, less common variety of cognatic rule is the reckoning of kinship through either maternal or paternal links, depending on which kin group provides greater opportunities • Double Decent – Least common variety of cognatic descent traces descent matrilineally for some purposes and patrilineally for others Unilineal Decent Rules – restricts parental links exclusively to males or to females • Patrilineal Descent- requires ego to follow the ascending and descending genealogical links through males only (ego has relatives of both genders) • Matrilineal descent- requires ego to follow the ascending and descending links through female only (ego has relatives of both genders) • Parallel Cousins – are the children of ego’s father’s brother or mother’s sister and are regarded as brothers and sisters • Cross Cousins – are the children of ego’s father’s sister or mother’s brother and are regarded as affines or potential marriage mates Pg. 147 Bilateralism(person related equally to both mothers and fathers side) may lead to a concept known as Kindreds Kindred- Consists of ego’s close bilateral relatives, who form a group that comes together of such occasions as when ego is born, marries, gives a feast, and so on - When Americans or Europeans use the word relatives, they are referring to their kindred - Kindred s are ego centered: egos and their siblings have a kindred whose membership is different from that of everyone else. Ambilineal descent provides more flexibility and choice then Unilineal system - Example: If a man has older brothers who are already farming the family land, he may choose to affiliate with his wifes kin group is she has no brothers laying claim to the land. The resultant ambilineal descent group logically has a membership that is the same regardless of which ego carries out the reckoning. This is called Cognatic Lineage Cognatic Lineage- consists of all the descendants of an apical ancestor or ancestress who reckon descent through any combination of male or female links. - Less cohesive and loyalties tend to be weaker Unilineal Descent groups - Have clearly defined membership that delineates lineage members from non members - Comes from direct line from mother and father to child - No overlapping membership Following features make unlineal groups suited for etic functions 1) Residence- domestic group is formed, containing members of the lineage , their spouses and their children 2) Regulating marriage- Individuals are usually not permitted to marry within their unilineal descent group 3) Economic functions- lineage membership creates a corporate group that owns land and allocates it to members 4) Political Functions- Lineage elders settle disputes and lineage members join forces for attacking enemies for defence 5) Religious functions- lineages may worship their own ancestral spirits Lineage Segmentation- allows closely related lineages to unite to oppose a threat from more distantly related lineage segments - some maximal lineages contain sublineages, sublineages that consist of three generations are known as minimal - When unilineal descent from a specific ancestor is not base on demonstrated genealogical links, the group is known as a patriclan or matriclan - Clan members believe they are related to one another through links that go back to the beginning of time Postmarital Residence Rules- govern wit whom or near whom a couple will reside after marriage and determine whether a couple will be surrounded by the husbands or wifes kin and what kind of support each can expect to have Bilocality- Means that a married couple elects to stay for short intervals between shifts of residence between the wife’s kin and husbands kin Neolocality- differs from bilocality in not establishing residence with kin groups at all Both Neolocality and Bicality are based on biolateral descent - the !Kung San are an example of Bilateral Unilocal Residence - Simple hunting and gathering societies tend to have cognatic descent groups and bilocal residences because their basic ecological adjustment demands that local groups remain open and flexible . - Well defined localized membership cores - Heightened sense of solidarity - Exclusive rights over resources - Increased reliance on agriculture - Unilineal descent groups are closely associated with unilocal residences- patrilineality with patrilocality and matrilienality Causes of Patrilocality - most common modes of domestic organization - most evident in societies tat have plows and animals and that practise pastora nomadism Patrilocal residence- associated with internal warfare - Warfare that breaks out in neighbouring communities is known as internal Causes of Matrilocality When men engage in long distance trade or warfare changes from quick short distance forways to long distance expeditions lasting several months - Matrilocality is more advantageous than patrilocality Matrilocal Residence- Is associated wit long distance trade and external warfare - Matrilocality structures the domestic unit around d a permanent core of resident mothers, daughters and sisters who have been trained to cooperate with each other from birth Causes of Avunculocality - at marriage a male goes to live with his mothers brothers in their matrilineal domestic unit and his wife joins him there. At maturity, a male egos son will in turn depart for egos wife’s brothers domestic unit - consists mainly of brothers and their sisters sons. - Avunculocality = maintains a male fraternal interest group un tge residential core of the matrilineal descent group. Thus it provides the best for those who aspire to military and political leadership Kinship Terminologies • Each culture has a special set of terms for calling different types of kin • Morgan found out that there are only a handful of basic types of kin terminological systems o Defined by the way terms are applied to a small set of kin • Here are three well known systems to show the nature of the casual and functional relationships that link alternative kinship technologies to other aspects of domestic organization Inuit Terminology • Two important features o None of the terms applied to egos nuclear relatives is applied outside the nuclear family o There is no distinction between maternal and paternal links  No difference between cross and parallel cousins • Everyone in the nuclear family is given a term identity (father, mother, ect…) o Cousins, uncles, and aunts are all lumped under one term for each  No distinction between what side Hawaiian Terminology • Fewest number of terms o Sometimes even the term for sexes is dropped o All elder women are referred to as mother Iroquois Terminology • A mothers sister is called the same term as a mother o A fathers brother is called by the same term as father Kin Terms Are negotiated, Not Written in Stone • Although kinship terms is a central organizing principle of human social life there is always room for negotiation of kinship status o This makes it possible to transform relationships through reclassification • Fictive kin ties is when a kin term is applied to someone who is lacking genealogical connections o This causes overlapping relationships  Causes things such as sexual relationships with distant cousins The Changing Family in North America • At the beginning of the century marriages had the male as the breadwinner and had 3 or more children on average o Today single-parents are increased by 80% since 1960 o  Due to divorce and female-headed households • There has been many new family forms o Blended families, gay and lesbian families  There is not single culturally dominated family • There has been an increase in intergenerational households o Families that live together but are not related by blood • What was before seen as odd or not socially acceptable is now a norm in society o People no longer recall when a single-parent family was not normal • There are now ‘chosen families’ o Family is those who are there for you Kane Chapter 13 • Kane says that she hates how anthropology you have to need other in order to get you
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