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Kinship: An Introduction to the Basic Concepts / Edition 1

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This book is an introduction to the social anthropology of kinship - to the ways in which the peoples of different cultures marry and relate to one another within and outside the family, and to the means by which one generation relates to those that come before and after it. It is addressed in particular to students of anthropology, but is also intended as a one-volume guide to those, such as social historians and geographers, who find it necessary to understand patterns of kinship in different places and at different times. The book is divided into two parts. It opens with a discussion of what kinship means to the social anthropologist as distinct from the biologist, and considers the different possible approaches to the subject within social anthropology itself. The following chapters cover topics such as descent, inheritance, succession, the family, residence, marriage, kinship terminology, systems and pseudo-systems of affinal alliance, the new reproductive technologies, and symbolic approaches to kinship. In Part II four chapters provide an overview of theoretical debates concerning aspects of kinship, and consider, for example, how recent work on gender, person, and the body have challenged and modified earlier assumptions about, for example, descent, succession, and familial alliances. The book applies and illustrates these concepts and topics to a number of contrasting case studies. These illustrate the insights that can be achieved from the study of kinship, and also show that the complexity of even the most familiar kinship patterns rarely lends itself to simple description. The author also includes annotated guides to further reading.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631203599
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 6/4/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Parkin trained at the University of Oxford, where he took his doctorate for a thesis on kinship in tribal India, which was later published by Oxford University Press as The Munda of Central India. He has written extensively on kinship, both theoretically and ethnographically. He is the author of a study of the life and work of the early French sociologist of religion, Robert Hertz, The Dark Side of Humanity (1996), and of A Guide to Austroasiatic Speakers and their Languages (1991). He is currently teaching at the Universities of Oxford and Oxford Brookes, having previously taught at the Free University of Berlin and the Jagiellonian University, Cracow.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures
1 Introductory 3
2 Descent 14
3 The Family and Other Kin Groupings 28
4 Marriage and Sexual Relations 37
5 Kinship (Relationship) Terminology 47
6 Symmetric Affinal Alliance 78
7 Asymmetric Affinal Alliance 91
8 FZD and ZD Marriage 101
9 Non-prescriptive Pseudo-systems 109
10 The Meaning of Kinship 123
11 The Significance of Kinship in Anthropology 135
12 Theories of Descent 143
13 Kinship Terminology and Affinal Alliance 153
14 Typologies and Terminological Change 162
15 Ethnographic Examples and Further Reading 170
Bibliography 186
Index 197
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