Cultural Anthropology Chapter 9 Notes
Cultural Anthropology Chapter 9 Notes ANT2410
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Popular in Cultural Anthropology
This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Maria Valencia on Saturday September 17, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANT2410 at University of South Florida taught by Dr. Melina Taylor in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views. For similar materials see Cultural Anthropology in Cultural Anthropology at University of South Florida.
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Date Created: 09/17/16
Cultural Anthropology ANT2410.002F16 Chapter 9 Highlight = Important Person Kinship: The system of meaning and power that cultures create to determine who is related to whom and to deﬁne their mutual expectation, right and responsibilities. (Creation of Relatives) Nuclear Family: The kinship unit of mother, father, and children. -Redeﬁning what common picture of a family looks like: vitro fertilization, surrogacy, artiﬁcial insemination shows how human culture is shaping biological relationships though science and tech. How Are We Related to One Another? Fun Fact: All humans are closely related genetically, sharing more ! A N D r u o f o % 9 . 9 9 n a h t Descent Descent Group: A kinship group in which primary relationships are traced through consanguineous (“blood”) relatives. -This includes aunts and uncles not those married to parents siblings. • Early anthro’s expected to ﬁnd descent groups that stretched back over many generation; these would help understand each cultures, economic, political, and religious dynamics. -European and American cultures don't use descent to organize social groups though. • Two descent groups: -Lineages: traces genealogical connection through generation by linking persons to a founding counselor. -Clan: based on a claim to a founding ancestor but lacking genealogical documentation. • Descent groups either matrilineal——> constructing group through mom side of fam, patrilineal——> kinship through dad side. -Both reﬂect unilinear because build kinship through one line or the other. -Ambilineal descent groups trace kinship through both mom and dad. Sometimes called bilateral or cognatic. The Nuer Of Southern Sudan • E. E Evans Pritchard studied this group • Constituted a patriarchal descent group. Membership could only pass to the next generation through the sons who inherited membership through their fathers. -Exogamous: Marriage within groups were not permitted. Searching for Kinship Patterns • 4 primary systems to classify relatives in parental generation. -Lineal, Bifurcate Merging, Generational, Bifurcate collateral • With ego generation, anthro’s found 6 diff ways of organizing relatives names after key group -Eskimo, Hawaiian, Sudanese, Omaha, Crow, Iroquois • Often lost traces of generations. Some long, some short due to a variety of factors. • Good example was the Nuers studied by Pritchard whose day to day kinship practices did not match clear patrilineal descent model discovered by Gough. -Bilateral kinship discovered. This could have been affected by local events. Kinship, Descent, and Change in a Chinese Village • Guest (author of this textbook) conducted his own ﬁeldwork in a Chinese village that on the surface looked to be the classic Nuer style patrilineal descent group. -90% of men had surname Chen, children boys and girls all named Chen. • In the 1960s a national political movement known as the Cultural Revolution occurred which was a modernized campaign promoted by their government to throw out the old and bring in the new. - Wasn't until 1990s that were stable enough to try to reconstruct lost records. -Damage was too great to fully reconstruct lineage further than 1900s as all that was available was oral stories. • Globalization has cause migration from this village and other parts of China to move to places like the USA where there has been support by village leaders to keep Chinese village up to date on marriages and offspring to reconstruct lineage once lost. Marriage and Afﬁnal Ties Afﬁnal Relationship: A kinship relationship established through marriage and/or alliance, not through biology or common descent. Marriage: a socially recognized relationship that may involve physical and emotional intimacy as well as legal rights to property and inheritance. Arranged Marriage: Marriage orchestrated by the families of the involved parties. -Common among cultures in Asia, Paciﬁc, Middle East and Africa. Even some religious groups in the United States. -Couples parents may view economic and political consequences of marriage alliance to be too important to leave in hands of two young people. What About Love? Companionate Marriage: Marriage built on love, intimacy, and personal choice rather than social obligation. • Romantic love appears in cultures worldwide although anthro’s tend to not focus on romantic love. -Love actually becoming increasingly popular in comparison to parents generation. Monogamy, Polygyny, and Polyandry Polygyny: Marriage between one two or more women. Ex: Nuer of the Sudan Polyandry: Marriage between one and two or more men. Ex: Nyar of India Monogamy: A relationship between only two partners. -Most marriages worldwide • Common to get married more than once in a lifetime even among those with monogamous marriages. -Serial Monogamy: Monogamous marriages follow one after the other. Incest Taboos Incest Taboo: Cultural rules that forbid sexual relations with certain close relatives -Including parents and children, siblings, and grandparents and grandchildren. • Some contemporary cultures allow speciﬁc marriages between cousins. China, India, Middle East and Africa -Cross-cousins——> Children of mothers brother or fathers sister is allowed -Parallel cousins——> Children of a fathers brother or mothers sister not allowed. United States -19 states allow ﬁrst cousin marriages——> between the children of two siblings -More distant cousins not excluded from marriage under US law. -Illegal to marry half-sibling Some anthro’s believe incest taboos were developed to protect the family unit from sexual • competitiveness and jealously, which would disrupt cooperation. • Or that arose out of concern that interbreeding would promote biological degeneration and genetically abnormal offspring. -Incest does NOT create defective genes. If harmful trait runs family, interbreeding will increase chances of defective gene being passed though. Fun Fact: Interbreeding shows some risk of congenital defects but this risk is less than the risk of congenial defects in children whose moms are over 40yrs old Other Marriage Patterns Exogamy: Marriage to someone outside the kinship group Endogamy: Marriage to someone within the kinship group -Practiced within the Indian caste system Kindred Exogamy: avoiding, either by force of law or by power of tradition, marriage with certain relatives. -Practiced in the United States -Also follow clear patterns of class and intense race endogamy -Same sex marriage now also legal in many parts of the world. • Whether arranged or not, monogamous, polygynous, or polyandrous, marriages may be accompanied by exchange of gifts most commonly bridewealth and dowry -Bridewealth: the gift of good or money from the grooms family to the brides family as part of the marriage process. -Common in Africa and often thought as means to compensate her family for loss of the bride. -Incompatibility, infertility, and inﬁdelity can threaten a marriage agreement and cause return of bridewealth but can stabilize marriage by est a vested interested for both parties. -Dowry: the gift of goods or money from the brides family to the grooms family as part of the marriage process. -Common in India as compensation to a husband and his family for taking on responsibility of wife. -If dowry considered insufﬁcient, women can become victim to domestic violence. Extreme cases lead to murder or suicide of bride. Are Biology and Marriage the Only Bases for Kinship? Houses, Hearths and Kinship The Langkawi of Malaysia • Among villagers on island of Langkawi studied by Janet Carsten in 1990s kinship not only given at birth but also acquired throughout life. -Hearth——> where people gather to cook and eat; serves as places to construct kindship. Blood and other bodily substances (breast milk and semen) are formed by eating food • cooked at home. -Husband and wife become more similar by living together and eating together -Brother and sisters have closest kinship in childhood bc grow up in same household but when marry and move out their “blood” becomes less and less. • Ideal is to marry someone close in terms of genealogy, geography, social status or disposition but bc of mobility things are more ﬂexible. -Villagers assume that all those who live together and eat together regardless of background gradually resemble one another physically. Creating Kin To Survive Poverty: Black Networks Near Chicago, Illinois Carol Stack found a dynamic set of kinship networks based on mutual reciprocity through • which residents managed to survive conditions of intense structural poverty and longterm unemployment. _Kinship included biological and ﬁctive kin (those who became kin). People provided childcare, bended money, took in children in need of foster home, borrowed clothes, etc. Is A Country Like One Big Family? • Janet Carsten suggests that nationalism draws heavily on ideas of kinship and family to create a sense of connection among very different people. -membership can be through direct descent of current citizen or through marriage. Reproducing Jews: Issues of Artiﬁcial Insemination in Israel • Susan Kahn’s ethnography ^^ reveal importance of women in kinship connections. -Israel's national health policies heavily favor increased reproduction. There is even an increase in single Jewish mothers giving birth through artiﬁcial insemination. • Some noncomplicated scenarios like single Jewish mothers but some more complex in terms of nationality and citizenship. Ex: What about when the sperm donor is non-Jewish? Who is considered father-sperm donor or mothers husband? Is the child Jewish if eggs come from non-Jewish mother carried in Jewish surrogate or vice versa? How Is Kinship Changing in the United States? The Nuclear Family: The Ideal Versus the Reality Family of Orientation: The family group in which one is born, grows up, and develops life skills (but expected to reach adulthood and detach) Family of Procreation: The family group created when one reproduces and within which one rears children. Idea of nuclear family (working dad, stay at home mom, two kids and a dog in a house in • suburbs) as cornerstone of US culture may be more myth than reality. -Before WW2 the nuclear family was not a major role in kinship history but emerged as result of industrialization. -Marriage after divorce means blended families, unmarried couples living together, friendship, etc. Chosen Families • Step families, adoption,vitro fertilization, artiﬁcial insemination, surrogacy cut across social classes and ethnic groups. • Kath Weston’s ethnography on gay and lesbian families shows kinship through choice. -Gay and straight families, biological children, children adopted, friends and just support networks that turn into kinship. -Study remind us not to assume that the natural characteristics of biological kinship ties are better than the actual behavior of chosen families. They are real. The Impact of Assisted Reproductive Technologies The emergence of assisted reproduction has raised questions about rights of parents and of • children born. Culture in form of medical tech is now shaping biology. • Can now promote or prevent pregnancy, know who father is, know sex of the baby before born, etc. Families of Same-Sex Partners • Increasing discussion about gays and lesbians. Ex: Tv shows and movies with gay characters, celebrities having children with partners, gay bishop, parents helping organized alternative prom that allow gays/lesbians. Same sex marriage still controversial. • -Opponents argue this kinship pattern will cause breakdown of traditional fan and acceptance will lead to social disorder. • Change in kinship and families does not indicate general decline or improvement of family life simple reveal a shift of kinship patterns. **Anthro perspective———> marriage, family, and kinship are cultural constructs and as such they are subject to change**
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