Navajo Kinship and Marriage

Overview

The Navajo are one of the most studied people in the world; yet their social organization is one of the least well understood. In Navajo Kinship and Marriage, Gary Witherspoon, a fluent speaker of the Navajo language who lived among the Navajo for eight years, offers a new theoretical approach to kinship based on its cultural dimensions. Witherspoon makes a primary distinction between culture (patterns for behavior) and the system of social relations (observable patterns of behavior) in this definitive work on ...

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Overview

The Navajo are one of the most studied people in the world; yet their social organization is one of the least well understood. In Navajo Kinship and Marriage, Gary Witherspoon, a fluent speaker of the Navajo language who lived among the Navajo for eight years, offers a new theoretical approach to kinship based on its cultural dimensions. Witherspoon makes a primary distinction between culture (patterns for behavior) and the system of social relations (observable patterns of behavior) in this definitive work on Navajo kinship and marriage.

"Witherspoon . . . clarifies problems pertaining to Navajo kinship and marriage through his skillful use of the concepts of cultural and social systems. He adds to the body of knowledge on the Navajo by his own fieldwork and unique life experiences." —R. S. Freed, Sociology

"Not only can Witherspoon's book on Navajo kinship help unravel the web for the Anglo willing to concentrate, it can also bring to Navajo readers an understanding of why Anglos don't understand Navajo family relationships." —Joanne Reuter, Navajo Times

"This is an important work on Navajo kinship and marriage." —David F. Aberle, American Anthropology

 

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226904177
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 6/15/1975
  • Series: Native American Studies in Anthropology
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 145
  • Product dimensions: 5.53 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
1 Kinship as a Cultural System 3
2 Mother and Child and the Nature of Kinship 15
3 Marriage and the Nature of Affinity 23
4 Father and Child 29
5 The Descent System 37
6 The Concepts of Sex, Generation, Sibling Order, and Distance 49
7 Kinship and Affinal Solidarity as Symbolized in the Enemyway 56
8 Social Organization in the Rough Rock-Black Mountain Area 68
9 Residence in the Subsistence Residential Unit 74
10 Subsistence in the Subsistence Residential Unit 86
11 Unity in the Subsistence Residential Unit 94
12 The Navajo Outfit as a Set of Related Subsistence Residential Units 100
13 The Web of Affinity 111
14 The Social Universe of the Navajo 119
Notes 127
Bibliography 131
Index 135
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