Kinship - Abby Elconin Disc 320 Vanessa Smolenski...

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Abby Elconin Disc 320 ??????? Vanessa Smolenski Comparative Commentary Kinship Family ties are an important part of human life. Humans need social interactions in their lives and support from others. Often times, people receive the support they need from their family and friends, but family is something a person and have and a connection that no one outside a family shares. Although in America most do not perceive kinship an important large part of our culture, it plays just as an important a role in our lives as in other societies even though it is seldom recognized. Kinship helps shape a culture’s society, it is a reflection of its beliefs and attitudes, and it affects the culture’s economic and political system. To show the effects of kinship on culture, this essay will compare the role of kinship different societies and its consequences. In “Conformity and Conflict,” kinship is defined as “the complex system of culturally defined social relationships based on marriage and birth” (179). Anthropologists find kinship an essential area of study in order understanding a culture. It is a form of tradition and is a reflection of a culture’s values and its view gender roles. A large factor in kinship is the principle of descent, which is “based on the notion of common heritage” and highly influences how families are formed (179). There are many different types of descent. The ones which will be analyzed and compared in this essay will be patrilineal, bilateral, and matrilineal, as well as fictive kinship using examples from The Forest People by Colin M. Turnbull and excerpts from Conformity and Conflict edited by James Spradley and David W. McCurdy.
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Patrilineal descent is when individuals are linked through the males in their family. Children are considered to be part of their father’s family and not their mother’s. This type of descent is what most societies are based on. A good example of patrilineal society is a village in Southern India called Ratakote. “Family and Kinship in Village India” from Conformity and Conflict
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This note was uploaded on 03/27/2008 for the course ANTHRO 100 taught by Professor Bowie during the Fall '08 term at University of Wisconsin.

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Kinship - Abby Elconin Disc 320 Vanessa Smolenski...

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