Schusky Manual for Kinship Analysis.
Kinship systems depend on the social recognition and cultural implementation of relationships derived from descent and marriage and normally involve a set of kinship terms and an associatedn set of behavioral patterns and attitudes which, together, make up a systematic whole.
All societies distinguish various categories of relation-ship by descent or consanguinity, and most societies distinguish relationships by marriage or affinity as well.
The resulting network of social relations may constitute almost the whole social structure in some of the simpler societies or be a relatively small part of a highly complex structure, as in modern industrial societies.
In either case, however, the system of kin-ship and marriage plays an important role in maintaining group cohesion and solidarity and in orienting the individual members to the social maze.
Kinship systems are found to vary in different societies with respect to a number of characteristics: Often the domain of kinship is clearly marked off, but there are frequently metaphorical and other extensions which result in related systems or subsystems.
But the processes of mating and reproduction are regulated in all human societies by incest rules and social convention, and although the resulting domestic family group is often based on physiological parenthood, it is the social recognition of parenthood that provides a child with a legitimate position in society.
Thus, it is often convenient to distinguish the pater,or social father, from the genitor, or physical father, and sometimes it may even be necessary to distinguish the culturally assumed genitor from the actual biological father.
The family of orientation into which a child is born is often part of a larger extended family which includes many additional relatives. When an individual marries, he and his spouse may establish a new family of procreation or may join a larger family structure. Normally he acquires a new set of relatives by marriage, but in those cases where marriage is specified in terms of a particular category of relatives, his affinal relations may also be his consanguineal ones.
In a few instances, as among the eighteenth-century Nayar of southern India, the family of husband, wife, and children did not exist as a social unit, and kinship was correspondingly modified. These examples indicate that the kinship system may or may not coincide with the genealogical network; in every case, the degree of relationship is a matter for empirical investigation.
The kinship categories found in various societies often cut across the distinctions that seem logical in Euro-American societies.
In the latter, lineal relatives are set off from the collateral uncles and aunts, and the relatives through the father and the mother are treated in parallel fashion. But in many societies throughout the world the terms for father, mother, brother, sister, and so on may be widely extended instead of being restricted to the immediate family group.
In some cases the extension is by generation, the term for father being extended to his brothers and male cousins as far as genea-logical relatives are remembered, and analogously for other relatives. The resulting kinship systems often have a wide range, sometimes encompassing the entire social group, in contrast to the narrow range of many Western systems.
The particular patterns of grouping kinsmen show considerable variety, and each must be understood in its own terms before it can be compared with systems based on other principles of grouping.
In almost all societies the family is responsible for the care and support of children during their period of dependency and for their education and training for adult life.
These tasks involve both love and affection and authority and discipline. The potential conflicts and ambivalences are often resolved by the allocation of authority to one parent or the other or to some relative outside the immediate family. The relationships established in the family group are affected by generation and relative age and by similarities or differences of sex.
Those members of the parental generation who are in a position of authority are entitled to obedience and respect; others may share an intimacy without subordination. Friendship and support are expected of brothers and sisters, although often there are restrictions on behavior between a brother and a sister after puberty.
With relatives outside the family group there is frequently a greater variety of behavior patterns, some seemingly based on the model of relationships within the family but others representing obligatory joking or teasing, on the one hand, or extreme respect or avoidance, on the other.
During the long period of socialization within the family or domestic group, the child gradually learns the proper attitudes and behavior patterns toward his various relatives. These patterns are present in the society in terms of cultural ideals and as behavioral norms, and their observance is reinforced in a variety of ways.
There is considerable evidence that in most societies children learn the essentials of kinship rather early.
At marriage an individual normally acquires a whole new set of affinal relatives to whom he must make varying adjustments, depending on the patterns of residence and interaction.
Marriage is frequently an alliance between two groups of kin and may be mediated by exchanges of property as well as of spouses.
Thus he may avoid his mother-in-law for a period and may be required to joke roughly with his brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law. Such societies intensify the bonds between existing relatives at the expense of securing a new set of relatives by means of marriage.
In most societies the rights and obligations of members are channeled, in part at least, through the kinship system. Thus, the right to membership in a descent group may depend on the proper marriage of the parents, in which the procreative rights in the wife have been formally transferred to the husband and his lineage.
Succession to various offices or status positions usually depends on kin-ship, even though the offices are controlled by descent groups or associations. Even the rights to residence in one locality or another may be specified in kinship terms. Rights normally imply obligations or duties and are concerned with the larger society and its continuation, even though phrased in kinship terms.
Many center on marriage and the resulting family and involve domestic servicelabor, sexuality, procreation, and support, among other things.
Where rights and duties are codified in legal or jural terms they are more easily seen, but they are an integral part of kinship behavior. In all societies, kinship is marked by a set of relationship terms that define the universe of kin and that may be extended metaphorically to nonkin and even to various aspects of the world of nature.
Kinship terms have been the center of much interest on the part of both anthropologists and linguists, and considerable progress has been made in their classification and analysis.Kinship is a universal human phenomenon that takes highly variable cultural forms.
It has been explored and analyzed by many scholars, however, in ways quite removed from any popular understanding of what “being kin” might mean. "In kinship studies this term is used in several ways.
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Kinship is one of the universals in human society and therefore plays an important role in both the regulation of behavior and the formation of social groups. Kinship systems depend on the social recognition and cultural implementation of relationships derived from descent and marriage and normally involve a set of kinship terms and an.