A person is reckoned to be equally related to kinfolk on either side of the family. Western societies are mostly
cognatic: although surnames, titles of nobility, and so on are inherited patrilineally, there are no longer any patrilineal
descent groups as such. For example, a 20th-century Italian, unlike an ancient Roman, feels no closer to his father's
brother's child than to any other cousin. They share the same surname, but they do not share membership in a
descent group comparable to the Roman gens.
The children of siblings of the opposite sex are called cross
A person’s cross-cousins are the children of either the father’s sisters or the mother’s brothers.
cousins are children of siblings of the same sex.
Children of the father’s brothers or the mother’s sisters are called parallel cousins.
descent is defined as descent through the mother.
This does not necessarily or even usually imply that a matrilineal group is matriarchal, but only that a person traces
membership in the group through female links. A matriarchal group is one in which the head of the household is the
mother or a female (as opposed to a patriarchal group, headed by the father or male).
The defining feature of a patrilineal descent system is that membership in a social group is determined by
descent through the father
A patrilineal descent group, such as the Greek phratry or the Roman gens, thus includes a person's father, father's
father, father's father's father, and so on.
Patterns of association is basically the observation of who interacts
with whom and in what ways.
Typically in Western society, people interact with people of the same class in an informal, friendly manner.
Likewise, people interact with people of a differential class in a more awkward and thus, more structured, socially
prescribed way. For example, the interactions between a corporate executive and a janitor in the same building.
Most cultures have some kind of non-kin based systems in addition to kin groups, usually called
institutions or network
Membership by Age is a linguistic
term to classify people according to Age or position in life cycle. Most
cultures have this feature. E.g. teenagers, Generation X, Senior citizens.
It represents a stage recognized by culture and implies clear roles with rights and obligations. People pass from one
grade to another via important rituals like Rites of Passage.
is a set of rights and obligations that are inherent in social position.
On the other hand, a contract is a set of rights and obligations assumed voluntarily by parties to the agreement or a
principle for creating a bond between two or more roles, with overtly stated obligations and rights.
A Free Contract involves a casual-minimal relationship, often short
term in nature.
This is in contrast to a Social Contract--a public contract where people agree to band together for some purpose--