Kinship Patterns

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					Kinship Patterns
   Kinship is recognized differently around the
    world, resulting in different patterns.
   Anthropologists typically use diagrams to
    illustrate the kinship pattern.
   In kinship patterns, one individual is
    labeled the “ego”.
   In tracing a kinship, all relationships would
    be traced to this person (ie if you were
    tracing your kinship).
Unilineal Descent
   Most cultures limit
    the range of
    descent to a single
    line of ancestors.
   Patrilineal descent
    is traced through
    the father’s kin.
       Only males pass on
        the descent line to
        their children.
Unilineal Descent
   Matrilenal descent is traced through the
    mother’s kin.
       Only daughters can pass on the descent line to
        their children.
Matrilineal
   In matrilineal line, special importance is
    placed on the mother’s brother.
       In the Ashanti Kingdom of Central Ghana, a
        king traditionally passes his title and status on
        to his sister's son.
            A king's own biological son does not inherit the
             kingship because he is not a member of the ruling
             matrilineal family group.
            Women usually inherit status and property directly
             from their mothers in matrilineal societies
Bilineal
   40% of societies around the world trace
    descent through both mother and father’s
    line.
       The Yäko of southeastern Nigeria are an
        example of a society with bilineal descent.
            Their important portable property, including livestock
             and money, are inherited matrilineally.
            Fixed property, such as farm plots, pass down
             through the patrilinal line as do rights to trees and
             other forest products
Parallel Descent
   Men trace their ancestry through male lines
    and women trace theirs through female lines.
Ambilineal Descent
   Descent from either
    males or females is
    recognized, but
    individuals may select
    only one line to trace
    descent.
   Choosing one side
    over the other often
    has to do with the
    importance of each
    family.
Bilateral Descent
   Most people in Europe and North America trace
    descent from all biological ancestors regardless
    of their gender and side of the family.
   All male and female children are members of
    both their father's and mother's families
 People do not always follow their culture's
  descent principles precisely.
 Kinship is often manipulated.
       People may create or deny links to particular
        ancestors in order to make their genealogy
        come out to their advantage.
Naming Systems
   All societies have standard names for
    specific kinds of relatives.
       For example – aunts and uncles.
   Anthropologists have discovered there are
    only 6 naming systems in the world
       Eskimo
       Hawaiian
       Sudanese
       Omaha
       Crow
       Iroquois
Eskimo
 The Eskimo naming system is the most
  common in Europe and North America.
 Members of the nuclear family are given
  terms of reference based only on gender
  and generation (father, mother)
       One other relative holds this name.
Hawaiian
   The least complex naming system
       Nuclear family is de-emphasized
       Relatives of extended family distinguished only
        by gender and generation.
       Ego’s father as well as all male members of the
        same generation would have the same
        reference name (likewise for females).
   This naming system is practiced in Hawaii
    and Polynesian Islands
Sudanese
 The most complex naming system.
 Each category of relative is given a
  specific term.
       Therefore there can be as many as 8 different
        terms for cousins.
   This naming system is found in Sudan and
    Turkey
       It mirrors the society in how naming can
        reflect class, occupation and political power.
Omaha, Crow and Iroquois
   Though different, these three naming
    systems emphasize parallel cousins and
    cross cousins.
       Omaha use patrilineal descent
       Crow use matrilineal descent
       Iroquois is ambilenal descent
Assignment
 Using one of the kinship patterns illustrate
  your family’s genealogy.
 Indicate if what pattern your family uses.
       If possible try to trace back at least 3
        generations (great-grandparents).
       Use your name instead of Ego.

				
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