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Symbolizing kinship

Symbolizing kinship

Ryan Schram

ANTH 2654: Forms of Families

27 August 2015

Available at http://anthro.rschram.org/2654/5


  • Language is a structure
    • Saussure: langue and parole
    • The sign: Signifier and Signified
    • Language imposes rules - criteria - on what we hear. We listen for the distinctive oppositions.
  • Culture is like a language
    • A structuralist approach works very well on kin terms
    • Kin terms can be defined by rules stated in terms of sex, age and consanguinity
    • Culture is a system of symbols, and a set of categories, that people of one society share. Culture is a language, not an organism.
    • A new kind of relativism
  • There is no such thing as kinship.
    • Domestic and public are social facts, not real things.
    • The Nayar, the people with no fathers.
    • Conception beliefs: Trobriand Islands, Huli, America
2654/5.txt · Last modified: 2021/06/29 02:27 by