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Interpretation of kinship by anthropologists has been both biological and social-cultural. Ego's son is son because he is born of the parents. This is biological but when ego does not have any son or daughter and he adopts a boy as his son, the boy is not biologically related to the ego but he is socially and culturally the son of the ego. The society gives legitimacy to the boy as a son. In polyandry, the eldest brother is the father of all the sons produced out of two or three brothers. Among the Todas of Nilgiris, the social father is legitimized both as biological and social father. In social anthropology there has been a de-bate on the issue regarding who is considered to be a kin-biological or social. Many of the modern societies, largely of Europe and the US, generally see themselves as more closely related to their siblings than to their cousins, as well as to first cousins than to second cousins. Clas-sificatory kinship seems to be more or less absent in this kind of society. However, it transpires that even this kind of society has kin terms which derive from social organization rather than from biologi-cal kinship. In India, biological kin are not that important as the social and cultural ones. Or, in other words, classificatory kin are as important as biological kin. In Gujarat, the males are socially considered to be bhai or brother. In the Dravidian family, the elder is Amma, Anna or Swami. In such classificatory terms biological relationship is not im-portant. The addressive terms in all cases are merely social, and not biological. However, there are some social anthropologists who argue that the biological kin are the real kin. But this kind of argument is re-jected. Needham (1962) and Schneider (1984) have maintained that among the primitives, kin are not recognized only as biological facts. They are always social and cultural. Eriksen deals at length with this controversy. He says: At least, the examples given here have shown that the kinship system in a society does not follow automatically from biological kin rela-tions. When the descent is important in order to justify claims to land, it may be common to manipulate genealogies. Further, many societies have also developed forms of social organization, with po-litical, economic and other dimensions, which are based on kinship. Both religion and daily rules for conduct may in such communities be based on respect for the ancestors and ancestral spirits. Those scholars who have worked in African tribes have empiri-cally established that biology has a restricted relevance for reckoning relationship. Wider recognition of kin in all cases is social and cul-tural. The debate whether biology or socio-cultural factors in the recognition of kin has now been weakened. It is being increasingly recognized that in some cases social kin are more important than bio-logical ones. These kin are reckoned on occasions of birth, marriage and death but there are 'other' socially constructed kin or rather ficti-tious kin who are also equally recognized. Thus, kinship behaviour and relationship are partly biological and party social.
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Short Essay on the Interpretation of kinship by anthropologists
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Short Essay On The Interpretation Of Kinship By Anthropologists

Words: 513    Pages: 2    Paragraphs: 13    Sentences: 32    Read Time: 01:51
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              Interpretation of kinship by anthropologists has been both biological and social-cultural. Ego's son is son because he is born of the parents.
             
              This is biological but when ego does not have any son or daughter and he adopts a boy as his son, the boy is not biologically related to the ego but he is socially and culturally the son of the ego. The society gives legitimacy to the boy as a son.
             
              In polyandry, the eldest brother is the father of all the sons produced out of two or three brothers. Among the Todas of Nilgiris, the social father is legitimized both as biological and social father. In social anthropology there has been a de-bate on the issue regarding who is considered to be a kin-biological or social.
             
              Many of the modern societies, largely of Europe and the US, generally see themselves as more closely related to their siblings than to their cousins, as well as to first cousins than to second cousins.
             
              Clas-sificatory kinship seems to be more or less absent in this kind of society. However, it transpires that even this kind of society has kin terms which derive from social organization rather than from biologi-cal kinship.
             
              In India, biological kin are not that important as the social and cultural ones. Or, in other words, classificatory kin are as important as biological kin. In Gujarat, the males are socially considered to be bhai or brother.
             
              In the Dravidian family, the elder is Amma, Anna or Swami. In such classificatory terms biological relationship is not im-portant. The addressive terms in all cases are merely social, and not biological.
             
              However, there are some social anthropologists who argue that the biological kin are the real kin. But this kind of argument is re-jected. Needham (1962) and Schneider (1984) have maintained that among the primitives, kin are not recognized only as biological facts. They are always social and cultural. Eriksen deals at length with this controversy. He says:
             
              At least, the examples given here have shown that the kinship system in a society does not follow automatically from biological kin rela-tions. When the descent is important in order to justify claims to land, it may be common to manipulate genealogies.
             
              Further, many societies have also developed forms of social organization, with po-litical, economic and other dimensions, which are based on kinship. Both religion and daily rules for conduct may in such communities be based on respect for the ancestors and ancestral spirits.
             
              Those scholars who have worked in African tribes have empiri-cally established that biology has a restricted relevance for reckoning relationship. Wider recognition of kin in all cases is social and cul-tural.
             
              The debate whether biology or socio-cultural factors in the recognition of kin has now been weakened. It is being increasingly recognized that in some cases social kin are more important than bio-logical ones.
             
              These kin are reckoned on occasions of birth, marriage and death but there are 'other' socially constructed kin or rather ficti-tious kin who are also equally recognized. Thus, kinship behaviour and relationship are partly biological and party social.
Kinship Essay Anthropology Essay 
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