Download e-book for kindle: What Kinship Is—And Is Not by Marshall Sahlins

Marriage Family

By Marshall Sahlins

ISBN-10: 0226925129

ISBN-13: 9780226925127

In this pithy two-part essay, Marshall Sahlins reinvigorates the debates on what constitutes kinship, construction on the superior scholarship within the box to provide an unique outlook at the inner most bond people could have. protecting thinkers from Aristotle and Lévy- Bruhl to Émile Durkheim and David Schneider, and groups from the Maori and the English to the Korowai of recent Guinea, he attracts on a breadth of idea and various ethnographic examples to shape an acute definition of kinship, what he calls the “mutuality of being.” kin are people who're elements of each other to the level that what occurs to 1 is felt by means of the opposite. Meaningfully and emotionally, family reside each one other’s lives and die every one other’s deaths.
In the second one a part of his essay, Sahlins exhibits that mutuality of being is a symbolic suggestion of belonging, no longer a organic connection through “blood.” really except relatives of start, humans might turn into family members in methods starting from sharing an identical identify or a similar nutrition to aiding one another live on the perils of the excessive seas. In a groundbreaking argument, he demonstrates that even the place kinship is reckoned from births, the reason is, the broader kindred or the extended family ancestors are already fascinated about procreation, in order that the thought of beginning is meaningfully depending on kinship instead of kinship on delivery. through formulating this reversal, Sahlins identifies what kinship actually is: now not nature, yet culture.

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Extra info for What Kinship Is—And Is Not

Sample text

That helps explain why the partible "dividual" has become a regular figure of kinship studies as well as an icon of the premodern subj ect. It appears that we have been staring for too long at ego­ centered-cum-egocentric, kinship diagrams. The problem here is not just the category mistake of rendering the relationships of kinship as the attributes of singular persons. The problem is that kin persons are not the only kind who are multiple, divis­ ible, and relationally constructed. In this connection, not enough attention has been paid to Alan Rumsey's ( 2ooo ) demonstra­ tion-following E mile Benveniste (1971) and Greg Urban (1989) on the meaning and use of personal pronouns-that the capaci­ ties of partibility and hierarchy (or the encompassment of oth­ ers) are general conditions of humans in language.

A similarly telling semantics of common being is conveyed by the pronouns affixed to kinship terms in New Caledonia, thereby making the possessed person appear "an integral part of the possessor" (Leenhardt 1979 , IJ). " As they write, "The belonging produced by kinship has, for these people, a whole further dimension to it" (2ooo, 153). Persons in Alltown may have a sense of common belonging through what belongs to them, but "families consider themselves as people who belong to one another" (150) .

In mentioning a fight that occurred possibly ten generations ago he will say: "I defeated the enemy there," mentioning the name of the [enemy] tribe. In like manner he will carelessly indicate ten thousand acres of land with a 36 Chapter One Similar forms of the "kinship I" have been reported for Fiji, New Guinea, Central Africa, and Northwest America. Franz Boas recorded the like from a Kwakiutl noble boasting of the marital and feasting feats of his great-grandfather, the ancestor of his house (numaym): Therefore I am known by all the tribes all over the world, and only the chief my ancestor gave away property in a great feast, and there­ fore they try to imitate me.

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What Kinship Is—And Is Not by Marshall Sahlins

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