Re: A perspective on kinship from DARWIN-L

ray scupin (scupin@LC.LINDENWOOD.EDU)
Wed, 11 May 1994 15:47:08 -0500

I also wanted to add my 2 cents to the thread on the kinship issue. I
think that we can trace a form of conical clan from Bourdieu's
poststructuralist position on kinship back to Leach, and then to Firth's
distinction between 'social organization' versus 'social structure,' and
ultimately to Malinowski's individual decision-making model versus
Radcliffe-Brown's structuralist notions.

In Adam Kuper's new book *The Chosen Primate* he emphasizes the
perspective that he first laid out in *The Invention of Primitive
Society*, that we should not confuse the ideal norms of kinship, that is,
structure, with the on-the-ground pragmatic decision-making. Hopefully,
through Bourdieu's efforts and others we won't forget the lesson.

Ray Scupin
Sociology/Anthropology Dept.
Lindenwood College
209 S. Kingshighway
St. Charles, MO 63301
314-949-4730 (Office)
314-949-9244 (Home)
314-949-4910 (Fax)

Not chaos-like, together crushed and bruised,
But, as the world harmoniously confused:
Where order in variety we see,
And where, though all things differ, all agree

Alexander Pope