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Kinship and marriage from a cross-cultural perspective - Essay Example

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The researcher of this paper will discuss as to how various authors have actually defined the social change in the kinship in specific settings with special reference to government laws and recent globalization changes which are taking place globally…
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Kinship and marriage from a cross-cultural perspective
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Kinship and marriage from a cross-cultural perspective

Download file to see previous pages... According to the research findings it can therefore be said that the Kinship as a word has different meanings and mostly used in contextual manner however, from the perspective of anthropology, it represents a web of social relationships which are required by a person to live in a society. It also outlines the affinity between different entities based upon some or all of the characteristics which are focused and studied. From the perspective of Anthropology, it is also important to understand that it signifies the study of patterns of social relationships within different human cultures or the patterns of social relationships within themselves. The patterns of relationship defined in kinship are either related by descent or by marriage. Relationships which arise as a result of the marriages are called affinity and are viewed differently from the relationships emerging as a result of descent. There has been however different social changes which have relatively altered the kinship norms within the society. The modernization and urbanization combined with the industrialization has actually weakened the affinity especially in terms of extended kinship. The recent theory on Kinship has actually redefined the way the overall concept is being viewed. There has been a critical change in the basic assumptions of kinship theory and more focus has been on understanding as to how to view kinship along with other social theory. This paper will discuss as to how various authors have actually defined the social change in the kinship in specific settings with special reference to government laws and recent globalization changes which are taking place globally. Social Change in Kinship Norms There has been a tremendous change in the way the overall literature on the social change in the kinship norms have changed over the period of time,. Lewis Morgan defined kinship as a form of social organization and focused upon defining it from the perspective of structures and functions. This approach was mostly focused upon defining how the various relationship structures actually emerged during the kinship including residence patterns, mating strategies etc. There has been a consistent evolution of the kinship and it started to shift from paternal to maternal source of power and prestige. Since mother was actively involved in the rearing of the children therefore in certain societies, these trends started to change. In some societies, the transfer of property and its ownership was also dependent upon the mother-child link. (Levine, 2008) D. Schneider however provided a critique of the same and suggested that kinship differs from culture to culture and kinship actually encompass different other domains of social life also include economic and political. His critique was important in the sense that it attempted to identify and root kinship into the broader perspective of cultural and social norms. It is also critical to note that he critically associated the symbols and what meanings can be driven from these symbols. It is however important to understand that most of the Schneider’s work has been focused upon North America and Great Britain. For Schneider, America was a single system of kinship with symbols having same meanings to both the males as well as females. (Peletz, 1995) Carsten defined kinship from the perspective of culture of relatedness and suggested that the biological relationships are socially constructed. She argues about the social construction of the biological relationships and specially the intervention of State as one of the means through which biological relationships are defined. In countries like India, marriage and biological relationships are often based upon religious association of individuals and to which religious class they belong to. The biogenetic relatedness therefore may not be important as kinship can also be defined under the sexual preferences as well as the establishment of kinship based upon post-natal associations. Carsten therefore refutes the assumption of Schneider that there is a clear division between the biological and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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