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Week 6- Chapter 8 in textbook and discussion post on Kinship and Descent

by: Hannah Kissell

Week 6- Chapter 8 in textbook and discussion post on Kinship and Descent Anth 210-601

Marketplace > San Juan College > Cultural Anthropology, Anthropology > Anth 210-601 > Week 6 Chapter 8 in textbook and discussion post on Kinship and Descent
Hannah Kissell

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Discussion question- "Consider the different ways of crafting kinship and the various forms of determining descent (powerpoint and Lenkeit). In light of what you read in Nisa and in the article by ...
Cultural Anthropology
Dr. Smith
Class Notes
Anthropology, kinship, descent, family




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Hannah Kissell on Saturday October 1, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Anth 210-601 at San Juan College taught by Dr. Smith in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views. For similar materials see Cultural Anthropology in Cultural Anthropology, Anthropology at San Juan College.


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Date Created: 10/01/16
Kinship is used to organize people into physical groups, and this can be done from generations of families staying in the same place and crafting that kinship together. Behavior is directed by kinship, since kinship is another way to classify a person into a role or defining the behavior that is to be expected of someone who is a part of that kin. Within being a part of that kinship, a person will gain a status of who they are, or what they give and gain in light of being a part of this particular group. As humans we are programmed to survive and being social is a part of survival. While being a part of this group of people can give a person security in who they are, how they live, life transitions, and any kind of life event that can be helped through security from a supportive group of common people. All of these ways to craft kinship really begin at the basic level of the type of culture, and the practice, beliefs, and tradition of the culture. Descent is a way to describe a person or group of people who share a common ancestor that give to their identities. In order to determine descent a person must have a starting point to dig from. Possible paths of determining descent can come from family history, talking to relatives, or focusing on your mother, then her mother, then your grandmothers mother, this is called matrilineal descent within a family that can be traced back through multiple generations. Fatherhood can be shared in the Barí tribe families in Venezuela. Some anthropologists say that the Barí still have great persistence in traditional spirits and ancestral wisdom, including their belief that a child may have multiple biological fathers. “Anthropologists study a culture's ideas about conception because those ideas have a profound impact on the way people run their lives. In our culture, for example, conceiving children incurs long- term economic responsibility for both the mother and father. We take this obligation so seriously that when a parent fails to provide for a child, it is usually a violation of law. In the Barí system, when a man is named as a secondary biological father he is also placed under an obligation to the mother and the child. In addition, he is expected to give gifts of fish and game. These gifts are a significant burden because the man must also provide for his own wife and primary children” (Small 2003). Some anthropologists observed that multiple biological fathers are increasing starting to decrease, and this can be drawn back to how much of an influence western culture has on these native people. “Among some native people, such as the Canela, Mehinaku, and Araweté, women control their sex lives and their fertility, and most children have several fathers. The Curripaco of Amazonia, for instance, acknowledge multiple fatherhood as a biological possibility and yet frown on women having affairs” (Small). There are multiple diverse practices across the board for fatherhood and what each individual culture deems as ethical. The !Kung people are described as the most equal society there is for women and men. Women have a huge right to their and their children’s lives. They hold status in the family and village and the men respect this. Fathers are observed to have just as big an impact on their children’s lives, beliefs, and parenting as the mothers do. Fathers are also not seen to be feared for punishment, but quite the opposite with the openness that is accepted and expected from !Kung children with their parent. It is said so far that children have one biological mother and one father. Similarities between the cultures might include how much the father is expected to tend to the care of his wife and children. However, many children and wives there are, the father is always the main provider for food. In both cultures the father is the hunter and the mother is the caregiver, there might be differences in how radical these views are, but the trend is seen in both cultures. References Lenkeit, R. E. (2009). Introducing cultural anthropology. New York: McGraw- Hill. Meredith F. Small, Abbas|Tuesday, April 01, 2003. (2003, April). October 2016. Shostak, M., & N. (1981). Nisa, the life and words of a !Kung woman. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.


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