Lecture+12-3 - Lecture 12: Kinship and Descent What is...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Lecture 12: Kinship and Descent What is kinship based on? Most of you, if pressed to answer that question, would probably make reference to “shared blood.” Perhaps you would mention “genetic” relatedness as well. In either case, you would base your answer on the idea that kinship is somehow “biological,” or part of nature. Everywhere, we assume, people have relatives. Everywhere, there are people called “cousin” or “aunt” or “uncle.” The way we think about kinship is reminiscent of the way we think about race. We naturalize it and essentialize it, because it is something we believe to be based ultimately on something physical, on a shared substance in our bodies. It is fairly easy, however, to prove that the way we think of relatives in the U.S. is not based, in a literal or exclusive sense, on shared blood or genetic relatedness. [Example: some relatives share ½ of their genes with you (mother, brother, father, sister, son, daughter); others share ¼ of their genes with you (grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles); others share an eighth (cousins and great grandparents); and so on. Now, do you consider your mother and brother kin of the same type? Are uncles and grandmothers the same? No. This is because kinship is not based solely on degrees of genetic relatedness. It is also based on gender, age, generation, and so on. These things are much more important than genetic relatedness in determining what a cousin and a great grandmother are.] [The LOVE connection. Is kinship based on love? This is theory #2 for most Americans.] So, if kinship is not simply a measure of genetic relatedness – or “love” -- what is it? For us, it will signify three things:
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 02/17/2011 for the course ANTHRCUL 101 taught by Professor Kirsch during the Fall '08 term at University of Michigan.

Page1 / 3

Lecture+12-3 - Lecture 12: Kinship and Descent What is...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online