Sc2218 Lecture 5 (2008a)


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Lecture 5: Families and Kinship

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Sc2218 Lecture 5 (2008a)

  1. 1. SC2218: Anthropology and the Human Condition Lecture 5: Families and Kinship Eric C. Thompson Semester 2, 2008/2009
  2. 2. Where Are We Going? <ul><li>Part 1: Anthropological Frameworks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strangers Abroad; Evolution & Diversity; The Concept of Culture </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Part 2: Social-Cultural Systems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Kinship , Gender, Economy, Community </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Part 3: Revising Our Frameworks & Moving into the Future </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Problem of Representation, History and Change, the Poetry of Culture, Anthropology in the 21 st Century </li></ul></ul>YOU ARE HERE
  3. 3. Lecture Outline: Kinship as a Social and Cultural System <ul><li>What is Kinship? </li></ul><ul><li>Ju/’hoansi kinship (a study in Cultural Complexity). </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural Rules, Social Organization and Power. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Patrilineality, Partrilocality, and Patriarchy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Matrilineality, Matrilocality, and Egalitarianism </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Changing Patterns of Modern Kinship </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bilateral Inheritance, Neolocal Residence, and Attenuated Kinship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technological Innovations and New Horizons of Kinship </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. What is Kinship? <ul><li>Kinship = Social-Cultural Elaborations of Biological Reproduction </li></ul><ul><li>Marriage = Cultural recognition of a sexual relationship; legitimization of paternity. </li></ul><ul><li>Ordering (arranging) social relationships through cultural interpretations of biological reproduction. </li></ul><ul><li>Kinship is “based in” biology. </li></ul><ul><li>But kinship is not determined by biology. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Kinship as an Organizing Principle of Society* <ul><li>Kinship is a primary organizing principle in many (most) societies. </li></ul><ul><li>In complex agricultural, industrial, and ‘post-industrial’ societies, other institutions displace kinship. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>States (“State Fatherhood”; Citizenship; Patronage) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ethnic Groups, Races,Nations (“Fraternal” Democracy; Imagined Community) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organized Religion (“Brotherhood” of Monks) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Corporations (“Salary Man”; “Company Man”) </li></ul></ul>*Cultural Principles ordering Social Relationships
  6. 6. Complexity of Kinship* among Dobe Ju/’hoansi *Many thanks to Dr. Stephanie Rupp for creation and use of the slides to follow.
  7. 7. !kun!a !kun!a tun tun !kuma !kuma tuma tuma !ko !kwi tsin tsin !hai =hai ba tai Basic Kin Relations – Dobe Ju/’hoansi ego 1 2 3 4 5 tsiu
  8. 8. !kun!a !kun!a tun tun !kuma !kuma tuma tuma !ko !kwi tsin tsin !hai =hai ba tai Reciprocal Relations – Dobe Ju/’hoansi “ old name” grandfather “ small name” grandson ego grandmother granddaughter
  9. 9. !kun!a !kun!a tun tun tsin !kuma !kuma tuma tuma !ko !kwi tsin !hai =hai ba tai tsu tsu //ga //ga !kun!a !kun!a tun tun !kun!a !kun!a tun tun ego Joking Avoidance Joking Avoidance Joking Reciprocal Relations between Alternate Generations
  10. 10. Man’s perspective Woman’s perspective Affinal* Relations **************************************************************************************************** Joking Kin Joking Affines Avoidance Kin Avoidance Affines =tum =tum /otsu /otsu /otsu /otsu *Related by Marriage
  11. 11. Patterns of Marriage <ul><li>Monogamy: One spouse at a time. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strict Monogamy: One and only one spouse over a lifetime (“until death do we part”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Serial Monogamy: Culturally acceptable to have more than one spouse over a life time (but only one at a time; divorce and remarriage) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Polygamy: More than one spouse at a time. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Polygyny: Multiple wives allowed.* </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Polyandry: Multiple husbands allowed. </li></ul></ul>*Polygyny is the most common cultural pattern. But usually only a few men, not all, have multiple wives.
  12. 12. Dobe Camp Composition: Social Organization and Rights to Waterholes Based on Kinship core siblings spouses of core siblings siblings of spouses of core siblings spouses of siblings of spouses of core siblings
  13. 13. Another Layer of Complexity: Name Relationships Common Pattern - Naming Children after Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
  14. 14. When a Man Is Named after His Father’s Brother … 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Joking Joking Avoidance Joking Avoidance Avoidance
  15. 15. Complicated Intersections of Kinship: Can =Toma and Chu/o Marry? (They must have a ‘joking’ relationship) =Toma Chu/o Joking Joking Chu/o =Toma Avoidance Avoidance
  16. 16. Concept of Wi – Relative Age Lee to !Xam: “When two people are working out what kin term to employ, how do they decide whose choice is to prevail? !Xam to Lee: “… it is always the older person who wi s the younger person. Since I am older than you, I decide what we should call each other.” (Lee 2003: 72)
  17. 17. Marriage – New Horizons of Kinship Based on Name Relationships All women named N=isa could call him “ husband” All husbands of women named N=isa could call him “ brother” or “co-husband”. All fathers of women named N=isa could call him “son-in-law”. All siblings of women named N=isa could call him “brother-in-law”. ego N=isa
  18. 18. Frameworks of Analysis Looking back over the description of Dobe Ju/’hoansi kinship, can you identify functional, structural, and structural-functional aspects of the system?
  19. 19. Examples <ul><li>Functional: Joking and avoidance patterns provide guidelines for behavior and therefore moderate potential conflicts. </li></ul><ul><li>Structural: Joking and avoidance patterns follow a clear pattern of reciprocal relations between alternate generations. </li></ul><ul><li>Structural-Functional: The “Wi” relationship provides guidelines for mediating conflicting criteria joking and avoidance relationships.* </li></ul>*Note how there is no need for “Wi” outside the structure of this particular kinship system. Its function is intrinsic to the structure .
  20. 20. “ Fictive Kinship” <ul><li>In many (most?) societies, the role of kinship is so important, people do not know how to relate to one another unless they first establish their kin-relationship. </li></ul><ul><li>People who do not have a place in the kinship system are incorporated into it through “fictive kinship” (e.g. Richard Lee). </li></ul><ul><li>Does Singapore have “fictive” kinship? </li></ul>
  21. 21. Patri- and Matri- (Some Terminology) Patri- (male) Matri- (female) -archy (rule, govern) -lineal (in the line of) -local (residence, location) Patriarchy: society in which power is disproportionately held by men Examples: Matrilineal: society in which property, names, status, etc. is inherited through women Patrilocal: society in which married couples live with the man’s side of the family *These are all different things; a society can be matrilineal but patriarchal
  22. 22. Terminology You Should Know <ul><li>Patrilineal – inheritance through fathers </li></ul><ul><li>Matrilineal – inheritance through mothers </li></ul><ul><li>Bilateral – inheritance through both </li></ul><ul><li>Patrilocal – living with father’s side </li></ul><ul><li>Martilocal – living with mother’s side </li></ul><ul><li>Neolocal – living in a new place </li></ul><ul><li>Patriarchal – society in which men more empowered </li></ul><ul><li>Matriarchal – society in which women are more empowered </li></ul><ul><li>Egalitarian – society in which men and women are (more-or-less) equally empowered </li></ul>
  23. 23. Patrilineal, Patrilocal* Systems <ul><li>Patrilineal inheritance (a cultural rule): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Property passes from fathers to sons </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Patrilocal residence (a cultural rule): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Women live with husband’s family </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Common in China, India, Europe </li></ul><ul><ul><li>While the cultural basis of much “Asian Values” talk, it is clearly not exclusively “Asian” </li></ul></ul>*Also called “virilocal”: living with the man/husband
  24. 24. Matrilineal, Matrilocal* Systems <ul><li>Matrilineal inheritance (a cultural rule): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Property passes from mothers to daughters </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Matrilocal residence (a cultural rule): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Men live with wife’s family </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Common in Southeast Asia, Africa (including !Kung San), Native America </li></ul><ul><li>Found in China (Yunnan, Sichuan), India </li></ul>*Also called “uxorilocal”: living with the uncle/mother’s-brother
  25. 25. Why have patrilineal or matrilineal inheritance? What are the effects of these cultural rules?
  26. 26. Thought Question <ul><li>Why would any parents or any society be so mean as to give all their property to only one child or only to one gender? </li></ul>Parents 4 Children 16 Grandchildren 32 Great- Grandchildren Large Plot Medium Plot Small Plot Tiny Plot!
  27. 27. “ Dadi’s Family” <ul><li>What cultural patterns can you identify in the marriage and kinship structures of “Dadi’s Family”? </li></ul><ul><li>What conflicts emerge because of those patterns? </li></ul><ul><li>How are those patterns changing? What social and economic forces are putting pressure on the kinship system of Dadi’s family? </li></ul><ul><li>What roles to different people in the family play? How does the cultural model of kinship influence what individuals in the family say and do? </li></ul>
  28. 28. Creating Mothers-in-law <ul><li>Kinship (cultural rules) turns biological reproduction into social reality. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Mother-in-law” = mother of your spouse. </li></ul><ul><li>Mothers-in-law are very important in patrilineal, patrilocal systems; but not so much in matrilineal, matrilocal systems. </li></ul><ul><li>WHY? </li></ul>
  29. 29. Mothers-in-law & Daughters-in-law <ul><li>As daughters-in-law, women move into families where they are newcomers, without connections and social support. They have little power. </li></ul><ul><li>Women gain power by producing sons; who in turn marry, creating new daughters-in-law. </li></ul><ul><li>Over their life cycle, vulnerable daughters-in-law become powerful mothers-in-law. (But only by giving birth to sons.) </li></ul>
  30. 30. Patrilineal, Patrilocal Rules produce Patriarchal Relationships <ul><li>Women are dependent on men. Their social status (and livelihood) depends on marrying a husband and producing sons. </li></ul><ul><li>Girls are of little value to their families; they are “married off” and join husband’s family. </li></ul><ul><li>Structurally and functionally , the system provides an incentive for women to support it (becoming a mother-in-law); even though it is systemically oppressive to women. </li></ul>
  31. 31. Matrilineal Systems: Minangkabau <ul><li>Daughters inherit land and houses from Mothers. </li></ul><ul><li>Sons “merantau” – leave the community, go abroad to seek their fortune. </li></ul><ul><li>Men return with wealth, marry into women’s families. </li></ul>
  32. 32. Matrilineal, Matrilocal Rules produce Egalitarian Relationships <ul><li>Women are not dependent on husbands or sons – they own property in their own right. Girls are of value to their parents. </li></ul><ul><li>Men are not dependent on women; they must “make their fortune” to be eligible husbands – but that wealth is “theirs”. </li></ul><ul><li>Mother’s-brothers (uncles) are more important figures of authority than fathers. </li></ul>
  33. 33. Other Effects of Matrilineality <ul><li>Minangkabau men are renowned traders (Matrilineality inspires entrepreneurship!). </li></ul><ul><li>Much less rape and domestic violence. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gender relationships are more equal. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Authority figures in boy’s lives (uncles) are not their mother’s sexual partners (father/husband); sex and power are not as strongly linked in men’s sense of masculinity. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Divorce more common (marriage less enduring). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Easier for both men and women to “walk away”. </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. Bilateral, Neolocal Systems <ul><li>Bilateral inheritance (a cultural rule): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Property passes from parents to children (without respect to gender) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Neolocal residence (a cultural rule): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Couples live in a new place; away from parents </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Common in Industrial and Post-Industrial Societies around the World </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Very commonly accompanied everywhere with talk about the loss of “traditional family values” </li></ul></ul>
  35. 35. Why the Shift to Bilateral, Neolocal Systems? <ul><li>Shift away from need to maintain large plots of land for agriculture (most people work in cities). </li></ul><ul><li>Without this need, parents are not inclined to discriminate between their children based on gender (bilateral inheritance). </li></ul><ul><li>Systems of mass production and mass consumption reorganize society (e.g. factories). </li></ul><ul><li>Children are incorporated into new institutions (e.g. companies, nation-states) and rely less on kinship systems (neolocal residence). </li></ul>
  36. 36. Loss of Complexity in Industrial Societies <ul><li>In industrial societies, kinship becomes less important than foraging or agrarian societies. </li></ul><ul><li>Complexity of kinship is lost as its organizational importance is displaced by other cultural principles and social institutions. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Anglo-American” kinship in the 19 th century (Gillis) </li></ul><ul><li>Contemporary China under the one-child policy. </li></ul>
  37. 37. 1980 2000 2020 China’s kinship structure – “One Child Policy” “ Uncle” “ Aunt” “ Cousin” Will All Structurally Cease to Exist (At least in theory)
  38. 38. New Horizons of Kinship <ul><li>What are the implications of new reproductive technology? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the implications of completely decoupling sex and reproduction? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Highly effective birth control; abortion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sperm donation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Surrogate Motherhood </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commodification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Men pay for sex; Women pay for sperm) </li></ul></ul>
  39. 39. Meet the Donor 66 Family <ul><li>The Donor Sibling Registry: Creating “Donor Families” (Started by Wendy and Ryan Kramer) </li></ul><ul><li>Donor 66 Family: Ryan, his 10 to 25 siblings, their mothers. </li></ul><ul><li>30,000 children every year in the United States. </li></ul><ul><li>Up to 1 Million children so far. </li></ul><ul><li>The DSR has identified up to 20 Siblings from 1 Donor. </li></ul><ul><li>Cases of over one hundred offspring from single donors </li></ul>Front Row: Women who share a Donor Back Row: Siblings and half-siblings 6 Brothers & Sisters of 5 Mothers & Donor 66
  40. 40. 48QAH <ul><li>Donor #48-QAH (“Quite a Hunk”) </li></ul><ul><li>150-200 Donations @ $50 each. </li></ul><ul><li>Paid $10,000 to father up to 200 children. (Surrogate mothers get more to give birth to just one child.) </li></ul><ul><li>Implications? </li></ul><ul><li>Relationship with Donor; Siblings? </li></ul><ul><li>Paternal Responsibilities? </li></ul><ul><li>“ Surrogate Fathers”? </li></ul><ul><li>Accidental Incest? </li></ul><ul><li>Industry Regulation? </li></ul>
  41. 41. Kinship & Cultivation of the Heart <ul><li>Kinship, like all cultural systems, is a conceptual structure that people are born into, live through, and which remains after the death of any individual. </li></ul><ul><li>Kinship (and other cultural systems) are perpetuated through the struggles, triumphs, creativity and cultivation of the people who live them . . . Think of… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The experimentation with family and kinship in America and Europe during the early 19 th century (Gillis) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The struggle of Dadi to simultaneously hold her family together and to see her children thrive (“Dadi’s Family”). </li></ul></ul>Two TUN with their TUMA BA and !HAI