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Lecture 19 Family - Lecture 19 Outline The family In...

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1 Lecture 19 Outline 10/27/11 The family In anthropological studies, a family is a domestic group formed through one or more of the following links: marriage, descent, adoption, and, in some less usual cases, mutual commitment of consenting adults. Family members usually share living space, material resources, and socioeconomic standing. Family members, however, do not necessarily share ethnic or religious identities. Family is the primary social unit in which human individuals are born and enculturated. Family is the basic building block of social structure, in which human individuals form the most reliable interdependence. As a norm in most societies, human families are hierarchically organized around the two axes of gender and age. The family, marriage, and kinship The family is intrinsically related to marriage and kinship. Anthropologists used to believe that nuclear family consisting of a man and his wife and their child or children was the “unit of structure from which kinship was built up
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2 (Radcliffe-Brown), and that it was possible for kinship to establish and perpetuate itself only through a specific form of marriage (Levi- Strauss). The above cited theories have been the most influential in anthropology on the topic. Both presume that the man-woman link is indispensable in the establishment and perpetuation of a kinship system.
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