Kinship - Kinship relations can be based on...

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Kinship in African Societies Kinship A major principle of social organization in pre-industrial African societies Most privileged social relationship Even as societies developed from hunter gather to centralized states, kinship remained a prominent way of organizing societies Defined as a set of relations, linking together a number of people Out of kinship ideology emerge: o Social actions o Cultural behavior o Hierarchy – all part of the construction of kinship Position in society doesn’t make a difference kinship still exists “kinship gave the individual full personhood” family and kinship ideology influenced by group history and by differing circumstances. Migration, economic forces, internal tension, etc could affect kinship relations kinship relations subject to manipulation – to achieve personal ends or social order.
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Unformatted text preview: Kinship relations can be based on blood (consanguinity) and marriage (affinity) kinship as socially constructed o biology important in kinship relations but more social than biological relation in Africa o biology filtered through a social lens and value system Major Question of Defining who you are Who are my relatives? What do my relatives and I have to do with each other? Each society answered these questions by using its own historical experience to define kin Who qualified as a relative and what was expected from those who were considered relative differed? Individual African societies have stressed some genealogical links and ignored others o Different expectations of relatives than other non-relatives o Relationship/related hierarchy o Defines obligations/rights/favors/demands to ask of that person...
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This note was uploaded on 03/16/2011 for the course HUMN 007 taught by Professor Blyden during the Fall '10 term at GWU.

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