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A Critique of the Study of Kinship by David M. Schneider PDF

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By David M. Schneider

ISBN-10: 0472080512

ISBN-13: 9780472080519

Schneider perspectives kinship research as a fabricated from Western bias and demanding situations its use because the common degree of the research of social constitution

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Extra info for A Critique of the Study of Kinship

Sample text

The assumption of a psychobiological base may not be entirely necessary. It can be argued simply as an empirical generalization that in primitive and small-scale societies kinship, for whatever reason, forms the major if not the only base in terms of which groups are formed and relations are defined. In this view the " b a s e " of the kin-based society is kinship as a sociocultural system, and kinship is thus the idiom in terms of which relations are codified. In this view, then, kinship is both the base and the idiom, while the content of kinship is essentially that cohesion which arises out of the establishment of a form of social order.

The short answer is that in all human communities, even the most technologically simple ones, the basic categories of biological relationship are available as a means of identifying and ordering social relations . . " But the vital point is that unlike other animals, human beings consciously and explicitly use the categories of kinship to define social relationships. . a consequence of the biological reference of kinship terminology is that to say that a relationship is one of kinship may convey no information about its content.

Further, if we accept the untenable assumption that vocative/referential exhausts the data, there are certain restrictions on the referential use of certain of the terms. For Is Theory Alone Responsible . . 37 example, the term for spouse is never used by a speaker for his or her spouse's sibling of the same sex as the spouse if the spouse if alive. But spouse's sibling is classed as "spouse"—again if one wishes to accept the untenable premise that referential meaning is all we are seriously concerned with, then here is a term that is never used in address or reference.

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A Critique of the Study of Kinship by David M. Schneider


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