ANTH 321: Kinship and Social OrganizationKimberly Porter Martin, PH.D.
What Is Kinship? DEFINITION The rules and standards for organizing into families We use kinship diagrams to visually understand kinship groups
Aspects of KinshipAll societies in the world divide up kin by threecriteria:
Kinship is diagrammed using symbols toindicate these three aspects of each relative.
What Is Kinship Diagramming?Kinship Diagrams are the visual presentation of kinship relationships through symbolsThe main symbols used are shown at the right The reference point for a kinship diagram is always one individual called EGOMale =Female =Siblings =
Marriage = =
Parents & offspring
What Does Your Kinship Diagram Look Like?Begin with egoPut in a spouse if you are married Put in any children that you haveDraw in your parentsAnd their parents (your grandparents)Then your parents siblingsThen your parents siblings childrenPut mothers and fathers next to each other without an = if they had children but were not marriedPut a / through an = for a divorcePut a / through a person if they have died
Note that your kinship diagram does NOT look like the Standard Kinship Diagram.
What is a Patrilineage?DEFINITIONRelationships and/or a descent group based on male links only
Diagraming a Patrilineage The diagram below show all relatives in EGOs patrilineage in blue. Notice that if a person is in EGOs patrilineage, all siblings of that person are also in EGOs patrilineage. EGOs mother is not part of his patrilineage, nor are any of her family members. His mother is part of another patrilineage that includes 3, 10, 12, 13, 23 and 24.
Patrilineal Inheritance of Property The diagram below shows how property is typically inherited in a patrilineal system. The blue lines show how inheritance moves from one male individual in a generation to male individuals in succeeding generations.
What is a Matrilineage?DEFINITIONRelationships and/or a descent group based on female links only
Diagramming a Matrilineage The diagram below show all relatives in EGOs matrilineage in pink. Notice that if a person is in EGOs matrilineage, all siblings of that person are also in EGOs patrilineage. EGOs father is not part of his matrilineage, nor are any of his family members. His father is part of another matrilineage that includes 2, 6, 7, 9, 15 and 16.
Matrilineal Inheritance of Property The diagram below shows how property is typically inherited in a matrilineal system. Notice that females are the links that connect men who will inherit. The pink lines show how inheritance moves from one male individual in a generation to male individuals in succeeding generations. Women do not typically manage property, even in a matrilineal system.
Mothers Brother in Matrilineages In matrilineal societies, EGOs mothers brother is a very important relative, because he is the one who controls the property that EGO will inherit. EGO is the mothers brother of his sisters son(s). EGO will therefore manage his matrilineages property for his sisters sons to inherit. EGOs own children will not inherit from him. They will inherit from their mothers (EGOs future wifes) brother(s).
What Are Nuclear Family Members? Nuclear family members are considered the most important relatives in our culture, but not necessarily in other cultures. They consist of a husband and wife and their offspring. In our standard kinship diagram you can identify seven nuclear families. The nuclear family made up of 1, 2, 6, 8 and 9 used to be a nuclear family, but the children have grown and started their own nuclear families, as have the children in the nuclear family formed by 3, 4, 10, 12 and 13. There are five nuclear families shown in EGOs parents generation. They are: 5, 6, 15 and 16 7, 8 17 and 18 9, 10, 19, 20 and EGO 11, 12, 21 and 22 13, 14, 23 and 24
Diagramming Nuclear Families In the diagram below, all the different nuclear families are shown indifferent colors. Notice that the adults in EGOs parents generation are members of two different nuclear families.
What Are Cross and Parallel Relatives? Many societies recognize classes of relatives that we do not recognize. These classes of relatives seem arbitrary and illogical to us, however, they are central to understanding how these societies organize their kinship systems. Two classes of relatives that are important in other societies are Cross Relatives and Parallel Relatives. Parallel relatives are the same sex siblings of EGOs parents and the children of the same sex siblings.
Cross Relatives are the opposite sex siblings of EGOs parents and the children of these opposite sex siblings.
Diagramming Cross and Parallel Relatives In the diagram below, Parallel relatives are colored in magenta Cross relatives are colored in lavendar
What is Kinship Terminology About?There are six ways of organizing and classifying members of EGOs kin group. Each of these uses a different set of terms to refer to relatives. We study these different kinship terminologies because they reflect the kinds of relationships EGO is expected to have with various members of his family. The six types of kinship terminologies are named after the first exotic culture that was found to use that particular pattern of family relationships.
The Six Kinds of Kinship Terminology Eskimo Omaha IroquoisHawaiian CrowSudanese
What Is Eskimo Kinship Terminology? Eskimo Terminology is like what mainstream Americans use to refer to their relatives. Nuclear family members call each other by a set of terms that differentiate gender and generation. Collateral relatives are labeled by generation and gender in the parent generation, but only by generation in Egos generation.
What Is Iroquois Kinship Terminology? Iroquois terminology gives different status to parallel relatives than to cross relatives. Parallel relatives are treated like nuclear family members, and called mother and father in EGOs parent generation, and brother and sister in EGOs generation. Cross relatives are considered to be more distant and have aunt, uncle and cousin-like terms.
What Is Crow Kinship Terminology? Crow terminology also gives different status to parallel relatives than to cross relatives. Parallel relatives on EGOs mothers and fathers side are treated like nuclear family members, and called mother and father in EGOs parent generation, and brother and sister in EGOs generation. Cross Relatives on EGOs mothers side are called uncle and cousin. However, cross-relatives on the fathers side (including Dad) are so unimportant that they are labeled with only two terms: male member of fathers lineage and female member of fathers lineage. Usually associated with matrilineal societies.
What Is Omaha Kinship Terminology? Omaha terminology is the mirror image of Crow terminology. Parallel relatives on EGOs mothers and fathers side are treated like nuclear family members, and called mother and father in EGOs parent generation, and brother and sister in EGOs generation. Cross Relatives on EGOs fathers side are called uncle and cousin. However, cross-relatives on the mothers side (including Mom) are so unimportant that they are labeled with only two terms: male member of mothers lineage and female member of mothers lineage. Usually associated with patrilineal societies.
What Is Hawaiian Kinship Terminology? Hawaiian kin terms are quite simple. Every consanguineal relative in EGOs parents generation is a mother or a father, and every consanguineal relative in EGOs generation is a brother or a sister.
What Is Sudanese Kinship Terminology? Sudanese kin terms assign a separate term to every relationship that EGO has, specifying the exact links to EGO.
Parallel Cousin MarriageA Common Form of Endogamy Based on Kinship RelationshipsMarriage to Egos Mothers Sisters Daughter OR Fathers Brothers Daughter**Note that ego will usually have multiple MSs and MSDs and multiple FBs and FBDs
Cross Cousin MarriageA Common Form of Endogamy Based on Kinship RelationshipsMarriage to Egos Mothers Brothers Daughter OR Fathers Sisters Daughter**Note that ego will usually have multiple MBs and MBDs and multiple FSs and FSDs
Yanomamo Kinship and MarriageA Practical ApplicationPatrilineal Inheritance, Iroquois Kin Terms, Polygyny Preferred, Cross Cousin Marriage Preferred, Brother Marriage Exchange
Study GuideKinshipNuclear familiesGenderParallel relativesGenerationCross relativesCollateralityKinship terminologyKinship diagrammingEskimo terminologyStandard kinship diagramHawaiian terminologyPatrilineageIroquois terminologyPatrilineal inheritanceOmaha terminologyMatrilinealCrow terminologyMatrilineal inheritanceSudanese terminologyMothers brotherCross cousin marriageNuclear familiesParallel cousin marriage