DSST Anthropology as a Discipline

Both patrilineality fathers lineage and

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Both patrilineality (father's lineage) and matrilineality (mother's lineage) are types of unilineal descent. In anthropology, phratry is a cluster of sibs, clans, or kinship groups that have grouped together, either because they share a belief in a common ancestor or because, even though the sibs or clans are not actually related by blood, they have adopted common ceremonial and kinship practices. The term phratry also must refer to three or more groups constituting a tribal society. (With only two such groupings, the society takes on features of dual organization, and the groups are termed moieties.) According to a strict definition, moieties are groups that are exogamous (i.e., marriage between members of the same moiety is forbidden), of unilineal descent, and in some sense opposed. Sometimes the term moiety is used more loosely to refer simply to one of two divisions of a society, regardless of descent or marriage regulation, but in anthropology, the definition is "Either of two kinship groups based on unilateral descent that together make up a tribe or society."
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Cognatic, or bilateral , descent is, in a sense, the opposite of double descent. In a cognatic society there are no unilineal groups (i.e., groups descended strictly in the father's or mother's line). 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 -cousins. A person’s cross-cousins are the children of either the father’s sisters or the mother’s brothers. Parallel cousins are children of siblings of the same sex. Children of the father’s brothers or the mother’s sisters are called parallel cousins. Matrilineal 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.
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