Anthropology Writing Assignment

Attached is a PDF with Directions for how to complete the assignment. A slide show on the Chapter 10 and a Study Guide on Chapter 10 â??Kinship, Family, and Marriageâ? are also Attached which is where all the information should be coming from. Please follow all instructions and do your best work, absolutely NO PLAGIARISM!


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Writing Assignment 2: Kinship Systems & Lifeways
Anthropology 102 – Dr. Reddick
Due March 25 (Sunday), 25 points; Length 1.5 â?? 2 pages
This writing assignment asks you to examine and explain how two different kinship systems
affect social institutions like marriage and family as well as customs and lifeways such as
residence patterns, inheritance, the form of the family, the raising of children, and the division
of labor, to name a few areas.
Preparation: Read Chapter 10 â??Kinship, Family, and Marriageâ? and the items in Module 6
â??Kinship, Family & Marriage.â?
What to Write:
1. Explain what is meant by kinship.
2. Discuss how unilineal descent (a form of kinship) affects or relates to the social institutions,
customs, and lifeways in two or more different societies. Use examples of both patrilineal
descent and matrilineal descent. There are a number of good examples in Chapter 10 of the
textbook and also one Internet site on matrilineal descent is linked in Module 6.
3. Discuss how kinship and notions of relatedness are changing in the United States today,
with reference to social institutions, customs, and lifeways. (Though we are a multicultural
society, the dominant pattern of kinship is bilateral, which is the opposite of a unilineal system.
See p. 350; 352 in 1st ed.) In this section, consider the real vs. the ideal (p. 376; 378 in 1st ed.).
4. Address the following institutions, customs, and lifeways as appropriate in your treatment of
sections 2 and 3.
forms of marriage (monogamy, polygyny,
polyandry, serial monogamy)
marriage patterns (exogamy, endogamy)
marriage exchanges (bridewealth, groom price,
clans, lineages
social affiliation, networks
family form (example: nuclear, blended, joint,
residence patterns or household
authority within the family
economic roles and activities
same-sex partner families
chosen families
5. Aim to be specific and use the names of the various peoples who illustrate the concepts you
discuss. Follow the â??Writing Basics & Requirementsâ? instructions in the module for this
assignment. As always, the writing must be your own, not copied from online or print sources
or from a friend, etc. I will submit your papers through Turnitin and let you know if there are
plagiarism issues.
Chapter 10
Kinship, Family and
An Introduction to Kinship, Family, and
What Is Kinship?
Chapter Learning Outcomes
â?¢ How Are We Related to One Another?
â?¢ Are Biology and Marriage the Only Basis
for Kinship?
â?¢ How Are Ideas of Kinship Linked to the
â?¢ How Is Kinship Changing in the Modern
How Are We Related to One Another?
â?¢ Descent
How Are We Related to One Another?
â?¢ Descent
â?? The Nuer of
Southern Sudan
â?? Searching for
Kinship Patterns
How Are We Related to One Another?
â?¢ Descent
â?? The Nuer of
Southern Sudan
â?? Searching for
Kinship Patterns
â?? Kinship, Descent,
and Change in a
Chinese Village
How Are We Related to One Another?
â?¢ Marriage and Affinal Ties
What about Love?
Monogamy, Polygyny, and Polyandry
Incest Taboos
Other Marriage Patterns
Are Biology and Marriage the Only Basis for
â?¢ Houses, Hearths, and Kinship:
The Langkawi of Malaysia
Are Biology and Marriage the Only Basis for
â?¢ Houses, Hearths,
and Kinship: The
Langkawi of
â?¢ Cousins by Choice:
Asian Youth in
Southall, England
Are Biology and Marriage the Only Basis for
â?¢ Houses, Hearths, and
Kinship: The Langkawi
of Malaysia
â?¢ Cousins by Choice:
Asian Youth in Southall,
â?¢ Creating Kin to
Survive Poverty: Black
Networks near
Chicago, Illinois
How Are Ideas of Kinship Linked to the
Nation State?
â?¢ Violence, Kinship, and the State:
Abducted Women in Western Punjab
How Are Ideas of Kinship Linked to the
Nation State?
â?¢ Violence, Kinship,
and the State:
Abducted Women
in Western Punjab
â?¢ Reproducing Jews:
Issues of Artificial
Insemination in
How Is Kinship Changing in the Modern
â?¢ The Nuclear Family:
The Ideal versus the
â?¢ Chosen Families
â?¢ The Impact of Assisted
â?¢ Families of Same-Sex
â?¢ Transnational
â??Your Turn: Fieldworkâ?
â?¢ Mapping Kinship
Relations: Tracing
Your Family Tree
For this exercise, you
will create a kinship
chart of your own
â??Thinking Like an Anthropologistâ?
â?¢ Kinship in Personal
and Global
For this exercise, you
will reflect on your
own family and
kinship relations.
The Social Life of Things
In Chinese culture, kinship is highly salient.
â?¢ Many families compile their genealogies in a
book called a zupu.
â?¢ Religion shapes kinship.
Concept Check
Over a century of anthropological research
has determined that
A. heterosexual marriage is the best foundation
for a stable society.
B. stable and humane societies can be supported
by a range of different family structures.
C. polyandry is the best marriage structure for a
just society.
D. it would be better if we did away with marriage
Concept Check
The nuclear family unit is
A. the most common kinship structure found
B. the most rare kinship structure found crossculturally.
C. the kinship structure with the clearest
foundation in biology.
D. only one of many possible kinship
Concept Check
Analysis of descent groups allows
anthropologists to
A. trace who counts as a â??relativeâ? in different
cultural contexts.
B. determine which individuals share a
biological or genetic relationship.
C. identify the best kinds of family structures.
D. find out how transnational adoptions should
be handled.
Concept Check
Companionate marriage as an ideal for
marriage is
A. a belief shared almost universally across
B. the form of marriage most supported by
biological tendencies.
C. a relatively new and relatively Western ideal.
D. the form of marriage that leads to the best
Discussion Questions
â?¢ How is kinship defined in your own family?
What are the requirements of kinship?
â?? Does kinship continue even when family
members no longer interact on a regular basis?
â?? Are descent groups in your family best classified
as a lineage or a clan?
â?¢ In what ways do transnational adoptions
challenge our cultural notions of kinship?
â?¢ How is globalization changing the way we
view kinship in the United States?
Chapter 10 Kinship,
Family, & Marriage:
Lecture-Study Guide
Chapter 10 Kinship, Family, and Marriage: LectureStudy Guide
Chapter 10 introduces the diverse types of family, marriage, and
kinship practices that humans have developed. The information may
challenge you to use your ethnographic imagination and ask yourself,
â??What would it be like to experience a radically different set of ties and
living arrangements, like fraternal polyandry (one wife married to two
or more brothers) or polygyny (one husband with more than one wife),
or living in a collateral patrilocal family household, which would
include my husbandâ??s brothers and their wives, plus his parents?â? And
for the men in the class, what would it be like to live matrilocally, that
is, in your wifeâ??s parentsâ?? household, along with her sisters and their
husbands, not to mention all the kids? What would it mean to belong to
a unilineal descent group that would have a lot of influence in your
life, maybe more than your own spouse? These are the kinds of
variations you get to sample in studying forms of marriage, family, and
kinship systems around the world.
Throughout the chapter, take note of any connection a particular
practice has to the economic system and to the environment in which
people live. For instance, one idea is that the practice of fraternal
polyandry among Tibetans functions to keep the population at a level
that does not exceed the carrying capacity of the land, which is arid and
high altitude. In the past, fraternal polyandry has occurred elsewhere in
South Asia, but today it is almost completely restricted to land-owning
families in Tibet.
Unilineal Descent Groups
Household and family forms are fairly straightforward as presented in
the textbook, but the concept of unilineal descent bears added
explanation. First, understand that in a unilineal descent society,
descent is going to be about more than a direct lineal blood relationship.
Unilineal descent specifies that everyone (men and women alike)
belong to either their motherâ??s descent group or their fatherâ??s descent
group. Of course, everyone is related by blood to both parents, but it is
the affiliation with one side of the family or the other that will be
Unilineal descent stresses affiliation through a single line. In a
patrilineal descent society, affiliation in the patrilineal group will be
transmitted from a man to his children (to both sons and daughters), but
his daughters cannot pass on that affiliation to their own children. The
daughterâ??s children will be affiliated with their own fatherâ??s unilineal
descent group. Thus, there is a division in what we would conceive of
as the immediate family. Now reverse the situation: In a matrilineal
descent society, a woman transmits matrilineal affiliation to her own
children (to both sons and daughters), but her sons cannot pass on that
affiliation to their children. The sonâ??s children will acquire matrilineal
affiliation through their own mother. In the module for the chapter, you
will find two blank kinship diagrams. You can fill them out using your
own family members to see who would end up in your patrilineal or
matrilineal group.
Pages 352-353 of the textbook illustrate the six major kinship naming
systems found around the world. By a naming system, we mean what is
the â??term of addressâ? for our relatives; in other words, what do we call
them? To read these diagrams, not that all the relationships are figured
from a fictional â??Ego,â? the Latin word for â??I.â? Ego is your starting point
when reading kinship diagrams. Itâ??s like home plate. Read the entire
diagram from Egoâ??s perspective (E.g., Egoâ??s motherâ??s brotherâ??s
daughter = Egoâ??s cousin; or Egoâ??s sisterâ??s son = Egoâ??s nephew. This
orientation enables the precise description of kin relationships.) If no
Ego is indicated on a diagram, you can select any member on the
diagram to be Ego and read the diagram from that perspective. I often
will draw a square around the person who will represent Ego when
working with a hard copy of a diagram.
What functions do unilineal descent groups fulfill? These descent
groups set up expectations for rights and obligations that come by virtue
of being a member of the group. A person may have strong obligations
to assist members of their group, and it is to them that the person turns
for help of all kinds. The groups are also key to determining who
inherits. Typically, in patrilineal groups, property is passed from father to
sons, but not to daughters. Likewise, in matrilineal groups, it is the
daughters who inherit, but there is variation. In matrilineal descent
societies, women potentially have more authority and autonomy than is
possible in patrilineal descent societies.
Lineages and clans are two types of â??formationsâ? based on lineal
descent. Both may specify who one can and cannot marry, according to
the particular rules of exogamy or endogamy. As a member of a
lineage, one may be entitled to the use of land, grazing rights for oneâ??s
animals, loans, and other forms of material help. The lineage system of
the Nuer of Sudan in former times was structured in such a way that
related lineages could be called upon to act in defense of one another.
Clan membership may obligate one to carry out certain religious
functions, and it creates an identity that links people to one another over
a wide territory.
While lineage members, or at least some members, can name each
lineage head back to the apical ancestor, the person who is thought to
have started the lineage, members of clans look back to a distant apical
ancestor who may have the status of a divinity or may be thought to
have been a particular animal or some feature of nature. In the system
of clan reckoning for the higher castes of India, families trace their
descent from one of the ancient seven sages or rishis. Marriage
between clan members is discouraged because all clan members are
regarded as related, even though there is sparse historical evidence for
the existence of the seven sages. Lineage membership and identity are
thus based upon demonstrated descent, whereas clan membership
and identity are based upon stipulated descent.
One more word about clans: The apical ancestor of a clan may be
regarded with special respect. Anthropologists have used the word
â??totemâ? (from the Ojibwe language) to describe clan ancestors thought
to be an animal, plant, or feature of nature. (The Ojibwe peopleâ??s
territory has included the northern Great Lakes area into Canada: ) The
Navajo of the American Southwest (AZ, CO, UT, and NM) maintain the
custom of identifying their clan membership upon meeting someone for
the first time. They will say I was â??born to the ___ clan,â? naming the
motherâ??s clan, and â??born for the ____ clan,â? naming the fatherâ??s clan.
Hereâ??s a link to an article that describes a growing difficulty for Navaho
to find unrelated marriage partners. https://
(Links to an external site.)
Links to an external site.
In addition to unilineal descent, there is also double descent, a rare
form in which both the matrilineal and patrilineal lines are recognized
and have somewhat different functions. With ambilineal descent, there
is choice. An individual may choose which line to affiliate with according
to his or her own interests and the needs of the particular descent
What Type of Descent Is Found in Most of the U.S. and Europe?
Most of us in the U.S. and Europe do not practice unilineal descent. We
are bilateral, that is, we recognize affiliation with both sides of the
family, though for particular reasons one side may be preferred over the
other. As for inheritance, our laws in the U.S. today do not specify that
property is passed only to sons or only to daughters. In the absence of
unilineal descent, we do not form lineages or clans, at least in the
formal sense. The term that anthropology uses to describe our kinship
group is the bilateral kindred. It has no fixed boundaries. Depending
on our own family history, we may think of this group as not extending
beyond second cousins (cousins who share the same great
grandparent). Or, if your family comes from the South, where large
segments of the population have been more stable over many
generations, you may know your third and fourth cousins and think of
them as part of the family group, the kindred. Unlike in a lineage, in a
kindred, the only people who share the exact same set of relatives are
siblings. Think about it for a minute.

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