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Anthropology kinship - Essay Example

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The topic is about the kinship and bonds formed between foreign students of the same ethnicity or background that met at university in the united states. I wanted to talk about how foreign students from the same country or ethnicity have the tendency to immediately form their own group of people due to ethnicity and kinship…
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Download file to see previous pages The topic is about the kinship and bonds formed between foreign students of the same ethnicity or background that met at university in the united states. I wanted to talk about how foreign students from the same country or ethnicity have the tendency to immediately form their own group of people due to ethnicity and kinship.Culture and Classification. One of the goals of social anthropology is to acquire gain an understanding of how and why human beings interact with each other and with their environment. And Kinship is what deals with interaction oh humans with each other. One important idea that contributes to this understanding of kinship is what anthropologists term as culture. One of the many ways that anthropologists use culture is to refer to systems of shared ideas among a group of people.By system we mean that there is some similarity or regularity to the way that ideas, and concepts are shared. There are various possible ways this sharing could happen.The same language, spirituality or religious belief can be a system that connects two minds. KINSHIP The study of kinship is the greatest common denominator across the various parts of social anthropology. Kinship was one of the first fields where anthropologists discovered social structure and logical patterns The unparalleled pioneer in the field of kinship studies was the 19th century American anthropologist, Lewis Henry Morgan; later, French structuralists and British structural functionalist carried on the tradition. Kinship

brought about opportunities to map cultural variation within a relatively well-bounded

empirical field, and hence, it was a perfect point for making comparative conclusions. In

societies which are egalitarian, kinship often works as a kind of universal institution,

which organizes everything from economy to religion.

Before embarking upon a discussion on "why kinship and bonds are formed between foreign
students of the same ethnicity or background that met at university in the United States. " ,
lets revise the definitions of ethnic group, ethnicity, nationalism.

"Ethnicity seems to be a new term", state Nathan Glazer and Daniel Moynihan
(1975: 1).Both of them also pointed to the fact that the term appeared in
dictionary for the first time in 1972 in Oxford English Dictionary. In
1953,American sociologist David Riesman,first used this word.
The word "ethnic" is much older. Derived from the Greek ethnos (which in turn

derived from the word ethnikos), "ethnic" which originally meant heathen or

pagan (R. Williams, 1976: 119). But from mid 19th century, it gradually began to

be associated with "racial" characteristics. It was around Second World War, that

the United States started using the word as a polite term to refer to Jews Italians,

Irish and other people considered inferior to the dominant group of largely

British descent. While, in everyday language, "ethnicity" carries a meaning of "

minority issues" and "race relations", but in social anthropology,

"ethnicity"means aspects of relationships between groups which consider

themselves, and are regarded by others, as being culturally distinctive. While,it is

true that "the discourse concerning ethnicity tends to concern itself with

subnational units, or minorities of some kind or another" (Chapman et al., 1989:

17),majorities are no less"ethnic " than minorities.

In the United States, "ethnics" came to be used around the Second World War as

a polite term referring to Jews, Italians, Irish and other people considered

inferior to the dominant group of largely British descent. None of the founding

fathers of sociology and social anthropology - with the partial exception of Max

Weber - granted ethnicity much attention.


Ethnic groups tend to possess myths of common origin, and they nearly always

have ideologies promoting endogamy(marrying within the same social group, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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