Chapter 5.pdf - CHAPTER 5 The Ties That Bind: Kinship and...

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91LEARNINGOBJECTIVESAfter reading this chapter, students should be able to• understand the concept of kinship and the role kinship systems play inanthropology;• understand how in-vitro fertilization highlights Euro-American social andcultural beliefs about kinship;• discuss the myth of the family in Western culture and understand its biblicalorigins;• explain the role of marriage in society and the concepts of endogamy, polygyny,bridewealth, bride-service, and dowry;• explain the meaning of descent and identify the differences between matrilinealand patrilineal systems; and• understand the difference between genetic identity and social-cultural identity asit relates to kinship.CHAPTER 5The Ties That Bind: Kinshipand the Social OrderKEYTERMSbride-servicebridewealthdescentdowryendogamykinshipkinship systemsmarriagematrilineagepatrilineagepolygynyrite of passageKenny, Michael G., and Kirsten Smillie. Stories of Culture and Place : An Introduction to Anthropology, Second Edition, University of Toronto Press, 2017.ProQuest Ebook Central, .Created from york on 2020-09-14 17:03:13.Copyright © 2017. University of Toronto Press. All rights reserved.
92STORIES OF CULTURE AND PLACEIntroductionThe cross-cultural study ofkinshipandkinship systemshas been a central anthro-pological topic at least since the time of Lewis Henry Morgan. Why is this so? Theprimary reason is because early anthropology chose to concentrate on “primitive”societies. Many of these lacked the social institutions—bureaucratic government,money-based economies, formal law, etc.—that Western observers were accustomedto. It came to be perceived that, where such institutions are lacking, “kinship” servesas an integrating force, an all-purpose social glue: “blood kinship” provides the basisfor the formation of cohesive groups, marriage establishes cross-generational connec-tions between them, and bonds of affection and complex economic relationships holdit all together. These perceptions were coupled with the evolutionary assumption that“the family” must have been the earliest form of human association, from which alllater forms are derived.Anthropologists and social historians have documented the worldwide range ofpractices relating to kinship, marriage, and the family. As always, the first impulsewas to collect and classify, and then to interpret what was found—as Morgan did—inevolutionary terms. We saw in Chapter 1 that this impulse gave way to detailed eth-nographic studies of social systems in their own terms and how they function on theground.1But, given all the diversity that was revealed, evendefining“kinship” and “thefamily” proves a difficult order.The anthropological study of kinship is a game that nearly everyone can play,since most of us have known kin. We invite you, therefore, to think about your ownfamily and its history in light of the discussion to follow. In this chapter we will

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Sociology, The Bible, University of Toronto Press, Kirsten Smillie

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