Kinship and Descent - Text Flashcards Preview

ANTH 111 > Kinship and Descent - Text > Flashcards

Flashcards in Kinship and Descent - Text Deck (105):

What is a kinship?

the people we are related to through blood (consanguineal) and marriage (affinal).


What are the three groups kin may be divided into?

nominal, effective, and infinite or core.


What is nominal kin?

we may have little or no contact with nominal kin, even though we are usually aware of their existence.


What are effective kin?

We meet effective kin fairly regularly, at family functions such as weddings, funerals, and reunions.


What are intimate kin?

We maintain continuing, close relationships with our intimate kin, who usually include our extended family--parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, and grandparents, both affinal and consanguineal.


What is the focal point of social organization in rural and preindustrial societies?

- because members live in close proximity and generally form economic bonds


What involves not only how we classify our relatives but also how we organize our family, the support and assistance we can count on, whom we will marry, our residential patterns, and how we view our world and our future?



What defines our gender roles, how many children we will bear, what will happen to us when we grow old, and even what faith we will practice?



Kinship is culturally___and it is___.



What is the modified extended family?

Does not require residential proximity or restrictive rights and obligations; it maintains close emotional ties and a network of reciprocal support, and it is still common in 21st-century Canadian families.


What is fictive kinship?

Friends not biologically related but considered part of a kin group. New immigrants often substitute friends, especially of the same ethnic origin, if they do no shave any family in Canada; or, as with Italian Canadians, they include neighbours and friends in their kinship network.


True or False: In Canada kinship tends to be voluntary and selective, with no strong obligations.



What is a descent group?

Any publicly recognized social entity requiring lineal descent from a particular real or mythical ancestor for membership. Members of a descent group trace their connections back to a common ancestor through parent-child links.


What is the most common ay of tracing membership?

through one sex
- in this way, each individual is automatically assigned from birth to the mother's or father's group and to that group only


What is unilinear descent?

Descent that establishes group membership exclusively through either the mother's or the father's line.


What is matrilineal descent?

Descent traced exclusively through one's mother's grandmother's line, etc., to establish group membership.


What is patrilineal descent?

Descent traced exclusively through one's father's grandfather's line, etc., to establish group membership.


Where is unilinear descent common?

horticultural and pastoral societies


Where is patrilineal descent predominate?

Where the man is the breadwinner, as among pastoralists and intensive agriculturalists, where male labour is a primary factor.


Where is matrilineal descent important?

Mainly among horitulcuralists, where women are the breadwinners.


Patrilineal descent: which descent group do brothers and sisters belong to?

The descent group of their father's father, their father, their father's siblings, and their father's brother's children.


In a typical patrilineal group, who is responsible for training the children?

Rests with the father or his elder brother


In a patrilineal descent group, a woman belongs to the same descent group as her father and his brother, but her children___trace their descent through them.



How does matrilineal descent differ from patrilineal descent, besides the obvious?

The matrilineal pattern differs from the patrilineal in that descent does not automatically confer authority. Thus, although patrilineal societies are patriarchal, matrilineal cultures are not necessarily matriarchal.


Who holds authority in matrilineal descent groups?

Women do not hold exclusive authority in the descent group: they share it with men. These are the brothers, rather than the husbands, of the women through whom descent is reckoned.


What is the adaptive purpose of matrilineal descent?

The adaptive purpose of the matrilineal system is to provide continuous female solidarity within the female labour pool.


Where are matrilineal descent groups usually found?

In farming communities where women undertake much of the productive work.


In the matrilineal system, in whose descent group do brother and sisters belong?

To the descent group of the mother's mother, the mother, the mother's siblings, and the mother's sister's children.


In the matrilineal system, which descent group do males belong to? What about this male's children?

Males belong to the same descent group as their mother and sister, but their children cannot trace their descent through them.


What is a common feature of matrilineal systems that involves the husband and the wife? Explain and describe.

The weak link between husband and wife. The husband has legal authority not in his own household but in that of his sister. Furthermore, his property and status are inherited by his sister's son rather than by his son. Thus, brother sand sisters maintain lifelong ties with one another, whereas marital ties can easily be severe.


What formed the basis of Iroquoian kinship?

Matrilineal class. Iroquois culture was egalitarian: neither men nor women dominated the culture.


What is double descent, also called double unilinear descent?

A system tracing descent matrilineally for some purposes and matrilineally for others. It is very rare.


What is ambilineal descent?

Descent in which the individual may affiliate with either the mother's or the father's descent group.


What is lineage?

A corporate descent group who's members trace their genealogical links to a common ancestor.


What is the benefit of ambilineal descent?

Provides a measure of flexibility no normally found under unilinear descent; each individual has the option of affiliating with either the mother's or the father's descent group.


In which societies do descent groups take on a more corporate function?

In societies that lack civil institutions, or where the liberal-democratic model is followed. In what are mainly nonindustrialised societies, they are tightly organized working units providing security and services in what bad be difficult, uncertain life.


How is the lineage oriented?

The lineage is ancestor-oriented; membership in the group is recognized only if relationship to a common ancestor can be traced and proved.


Why does the lineage have a perpetual existence that enables it to take corporate actions? What are these actions?

Because the corporate lineage endures after the deaths of members with new members continually born into it, it has a perpetual existence that enables it to take corporate actions, such as owning property, organizing productive activities, distributing goods and labour power, assigning status, and regulating relations with other groups The lineage is a strong, effective base of social organization.


What is a common feature of lineages?

Exogamy. That is, lineage members must find their marriage partners in other lineages.


What are the 3 advantages of lineage exogamy?

- One advantage of lineage exogamy is that potential sexual competition within the group is curbed, promoting the group's solidarity.
- Lineage exogamy also means that each marriage is more than an arrangement between two individuals; it amounts as well to a new alliance between lineages.
- Finally, lineage exogamy supports open communication within a culture by promoting the diffusion of knowledge form one lineage to another.


What is fission?

The splitting of a descent group into two or more new descent groups


What is a clan?

A non corporate descent group whose members claim descent from a common ancestor without actually knowing the genealogical links to that ancestor.


When does fission occur?

As generation succeeds generation and new members are born into a lineage, its membership may become unmanageably large or too much for the lineage's resources to support. When this happens, fission occurs; that is, the lineage splits into new, smaller lineages. When fission occurs, usually the members of the new lineages continue to recognize their ultimate relationship to one another.


When does a clan form?

When fission occurs, usually the members of th new lineages continue to recognize their ultimate relationship to one another. The result of this process is the appearance of a second kind of descent group, the clan.


In which two ways does a clan differ from a lineage?

- great genealogical depth of the clan, who se founding ancestor lived so far in the past that the links must be assumed rather than known in detail
- a clan lacks the residential unity generally -- although not invariably -- characteristic of a lineage's core members. as with the lineage, descent may be patrilineal, matrilineal, or ambilineal.


Why do clans not usually hold tangible property corporately? What is its purpose then?

Because clan membership is dispersed rather than localized. Instead, it tends to be more a unit for ceremonial matters and for external aid in times of great need.


Like lineages, clans may regulate marriage through___.



What do clans depend on to provide members with solidarity and a ready means of identification?



What is totemism?

The belief that people are related to particular animals, plants, or natural objects by virtue of descent from common ancestral spirits.


What are symbols in clans referred to as?



What are totems often associated with?

Often associated with the clan's mythical, or real, origin and reinforce an awareness of their common descent with what the totems represent.


Who defined totemism?

British anthropologist A.R. Radcliffe-Brown


What is a moiety?

Each group that results from a division of a society into two halves on the basis of descent


What is the descent type that occurs when the entire culture is divided into only two major descent groups, ether her they are equivalent to clans or involve an even more all-inclusive level.



What do moiety members believe?

They share a common ancestor but cannot provide it through definite genealogical links.


As a rule, the feelings of kinship among members of lineages and clans are stronger than those among members of moieties. Why?

This may be due to the larger size and more diffuse nature of the latter groups.


What type of marriage is the general rule in moieties? What is the benefit to this?

- exogamy
- they provide members rights of access to other communities.


Moieties may perform___services for each other. Such interdependence between moieties, again, served to maintain the___of the entire society.

- reciprocal
- integrity


What is kindred?

A group of consanguineal kin linked by their relationship to one living individual; includes both maternal and paternal kin.


What descent pattern is characteristic of Western society and a number of foraging groups?

Bilateral descent


What is bilateral descent?

Affiliates a person with close relatives through both sexes; in other words, the individual traces descent through both parents, all four grandparents,a nd so forth.


Why are bilateral descent groups reduced to a smaller circle of paternal and maternal relatives, called the kindred?

because such a group is too large to be socially practical


What are kindred referred to in North America?



True or False: No two people (except siblings) belongs to the same kindred.



What ist he kindred composed of?

Not of people with an ancestor in common but rather of people with a living relative--ego--in common. Furthermore, as ego goes through life, the kindred she or she is affiliated with will change.


What is the form of kinship that most Canadians experience in their daily lies?

the ego-cantered kindred, with its vague boundaries, temporary nature, and changing composition.


How do descent groups differ from kindred?

Unlike descent groups, kindred are no self-perpetuating -- they ceases with ego's death.


What ist he unit that supplies support--both emotional and financial--in times of need that also acts as a ceremonial group for rites of passage; around birth, initiation ceremonies, marriages, funerals, and the like in industrial societies?



Where are kindreds found?

Kindreds are often found in industrial societies such as Canada, where mobility weakens contact with relatives. Individuality is emphasized insect societies, and strong kinship organization is usually not as important as it is among non-Western peoples.


Are descent groups as common feature among foraging societies?



In foraging societies, what is the social mechanism for integrating individuals within communities?



The absence of descent groups is a feature foraging societies share with which other societies?

The absence of descent groups is a feature that foragers share with urbanized, industrial societies around the world.


Where do descent groups usually provide the structural framework upon which the fabric of the social organization rests.

In horticultural, pastoral, and many intensive agricultural cultures, sometimes known as the "middle-range societies."


Where and why do lineages arise?

Lineages arise from extended-family organization, as long as organizational problems exist that such groups help solve.


What arises through legal fictions to integrate otherwise autonomous units?



when may extended families and lineages undergo change?

Under conditions of rapid social and economic change, and through the penetration of the market economy


In which societies re bilateral descent and kindred organization almost inevitable

In cultures where the small domestic units--nuclear families or single-parent households--are of primary importance.


What kinship terminology system is common in Canada?

The Eskimo System


What are common distinctions made when classifying a relative?

Common distinctions include whether the relative is male or female, which generations or she belongs to ,and ether that person is form the father's or the mother's side of the family.


What are the two important tasks all kinship terminologists accomplish?

1) They classify similar kinds of persons into specific categories
2) They separate different kinds of persons into distinct categories


What are the six different systems of kinship?

1) Eskimo
2) Hawaiian
3) Iroquois
4) Crow
5) Omaha
6) Sudanese or descriptive system


How are each of the six different kinship systems identified?

Based on how cousins are classified


What is the Eskimo system?

A system of kinship terminology, also called the lineal system, that emphasizes the nuclear family by specifically distinguishing mother, father, brother, and sister, while fuming all other relatives into broad categories such as uncle, aunt, and cousin.


How does the Eskimo system differ from other terminologies?

Provides serape and distinct terms for each nuclear family member. This is probably because the Eskimo system generally is found in societies where the dominant kin group is the bilateral kindred, in which only immediate family members are important in day-to-day affairs.


Where is the Eskimo system commonly used?

It is the one used by Euro-Canadians, and Anglo-Americans, as well as by a number of North American foraging peoples, including the Inuit, and other hunter-gatherer people, such as the Ju/'hoansi.


What ist he Hawaiian system?

Kinship reckoning in which all relatives of the same sex and generation are referred to by the same term.


Which is the least complex system? Why?

- The Hawaiian system
- In that it uses the fewest terms


In the Hawaiian system all relatives from the mother's and father's sides of the family, and of the same generation and sex, are referred to by the___term.



What does the Hawaiian system reflect and what is it commonly associated with?

Reflects the absence of wrong unilinear descent and is usually associated with ambilinel descent. Thus, they are all simultaneously recognized as being similar relations and are merged under a single term appropriate for their sex.


Where is the Hawaiian system commonly used?

Common in Hawaii and other Malay-Polynesian-speaking areas but also found among the Coast Salish First Nations of southwestern British Columbia an among other cultures as well.


What is the Iroquois system?

Kinship terminology wherein a father and father's brother are given a single term, as are a mother an mother's sister, but a father's sister and mother's brother are given separate terms. Parallel cousins are classified with brothers and sisters, while cross-cousins are classified separately but (unlike in Crow and Omaha kinship) are not equated with relatives of some other generation.


Where is Iroquois terminology widespread?

Is widespread in matrilineal or double descent and emphasizes unilinear descent groups


What is the Crow system?

Kinship classification usually associated with matrilineal descent in which a father's sister and father's sister's daughter are called by the same term, a mother and mother's sister are merged under another, and a father and father's brother are given a third. Parallel cousins are equated with brothers and sisters.


What does the crow system ignore?

The distinction between generations among certain kin


What is the Crow system associated with?

Strong matrilineal descent organization and it groups differently the relations on the father's side and the mother's side


How do cross cousins differ in the Crow system based on the mother's and the father's side?

Cross cousins on the father's side are equated with relatives of the parental generations, while those on the mother's side are equated with ego's children's generation.


What is theOmaha system?

The patrilineal equivalent of the Cros system; the mother' patrilineal kin are equated across generations


In the Omaha system, how does a man refer to his brother's children and his own children? How does he refer to his sister's children?

Cross-cousins are referred to by separate terms. A man will refer to his brother's children using the same terms as his own children, but he will refer to his sister's children using different terms.


Which system has generational merging as a feature?

Omaha system


True or False: In the Omaha system, generational merging does not happen on the father' s side.

true, even though fathers and brothers are called by the same terms


In which system is a mother and her sister designated by a single term, the father and his brother merged under another, and parallel cousins are merged with brothers and sisters, and cross-cousins are referred to by separate terms?

Omaha system


What is the Sudanese or descriptive system?

The system of kinship terminology whereby a father, father's brother, and mother's brother are distinguished from one another, as are a mother, mother's sister, and father's sister; cross and parallel cousins are distinguished from one another as well as from siblings.


Where is the Sudanese or descriptive system found?

Among the people of Sudan in Africa. Otherwise, it is found among few of the world's societies, although it has come to replace Iroquois terminology among rural Chinese


In which system is each and every relative in the kindred potentially called by a separate kin term. The mother's brother is distinguished from the father's brother, who is distinguished from the father; the mother's sister is distinguished from the mother as well as from the father's sister. Each cousin is distinguished from all others s well as from siblings?

Sudanese or descriptive system


Which is the most precise, and rarest, of all the systems?

The Sudanese or descriptive system