DSST Anthropology as a Discipline

Custom however may make divorce a simple matter in

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Custom, however, may make divorce a simple matter in some societies. Among some Pueblo Indian tribes a woman could divorce her husband by leaving his moccasins on the doorstep. Kindred consisted of a set of relatives from each side of the family, extending at least to the second cousins of any given individual. A person's kindred was once important, as this was the unit within which inheritance could be claimed, but the significance of the kindred varied from city-state to city-state and through history. For example, during the 5th and 4th centuries BC such ties of kinship were less important in urban Athens than elsewhere, because of increasing urbanization and the large number of noncitizens in the population . Lineage is a descent group reckoned through only one parent, either paternal (patrilineage) or maternal(matrilineage). All members of such a group trace their common ancestry to a single person. A lineage is exclusive in its membership and is normally corporate, its members exercising rights in common and being collectively subject to obligations . Membership of a clan is socially defined in terms of actual or purported descent from a common ancestor . This descent is unilineal-—i.e., derived only through the male (patriclan) or the female (matriclan). Normally, but not always, the clans are exogamous, marriage within the clan being forbidden and regarded as incest. The clan- is a kinship group of fundamental importance in the structure of many societies. Affiliation with a group of kin through descent links of one sex only is called unilineal descent. 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
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Custom however may make divorce a simple matter in some...

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