Re: Kinship

Shannon Adams (
Wed, 20 Nov 1996 10:05:36 -0800

P.A.Thomas wrote:
> Hi All
> How would one describe the term kinship as used
> by anthropologists? I have been reading a few books
> and they seem to have different definitions?
> Hoping that responses here might give a sort of
> common consensus
> thanks
> phil

The biggest problem is that "kinship" is primarily an cultural
anthropological sub-discipline. Because of this some anthropologists
will use the word to define the entire area of study. Others will use
is to mean any degree of familial relation. To be honest I don't
remember someone sitting down and just saying this is the definition of
"Kinship" the way I was taught the definition of "kin groups,"
"affinity" or other kinship-related terms. I think it was one of those
terms you just get the feel for by learning the surrounding concepts
(i.e. king groups, affinity, descent, etc.).