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KINSHIP AND DESCENT– ASSOCIATIONS Human social groups are usually organized around relationships of kinship, especially in societies characterized by band, tribal or chiefdom political organization. Decrease in importance of kinship Only in recent state level post-industrial societies has kinship become less important as an organizing feature of society. Kinship determines two important aspects of life– -who you live with and -how rights to resources and opportunities are divided up. Pre-State Societies Kinships in pre-state societies is the principal way of organizing into larger groups for collective action and cooperation. There are two kinds of kin relationships: 1)Consanguineal (“blood” relations or relations based on common descent) 2) affinal relations (relations by marriage) ***3) affictive- not related by blood or marriage but can be seen as kin, ex: frats and sororities Affinal relations are weak until children are produced, and can become quickly strained. Consanguineal relations are usually reliable for life. I.Who you live with– Post Marital Residence Since adults live together after marriage, and since people live in separated dwellings, either men or women or both usually move residence when they marry. Often the rules concerning residence patterns are strongly developed and inflexible. Residence rules can be specified at the settlement level (eg. Must live in father’s settlement) or at the household level (eg. Must live in mother’s house). If both the husband’s and wife’s parents live in the same settlement, the marriage is called endogamous and the residence rule refers to the house where they reside. But if marriage is exogamous (marrying someone of another residential unit) post-marital residence rules refer to the settlement where the couple resides. When marriage is endogamous neither spouse may be too concerned, since consanguineal kin are close. Which house they live in depends on aspects of the domestic organization of production– in particular whether it is more important for women or men to cooperate on a daily basis with same sex kin. But if marriage is exogamous, the sex that moves looses all close contact with kin. When residential moves are distant this appears to be dangerous for men (they need the support of male allies because violent encounters are common) and they virtually never move.
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Typically there are five possibilities for post-marital residence. A) Patrilocal/Virilocal – ( Patrilocal – live in the same place as the man’s father; Virilocal – live in the same place as the man’s male kin) -- this is the most common residence type in recent societies (about 70%). Sons stay with their fathers and co-reside with male kin (brothers, uncles, male parallel cousins) and their spouses. Women move residence at marriage and may sometimes live far away and never see their consaguineal kin again. It is typical of Asia, India, the Middle East, Australia and much of traditional European society
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This note was uploaded on 03/24/2010 for the course ANTHRO 101 taught by Professor Osbjorn during the Fall '09 term at New Mexico.

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