chapter  6
34 Pages

Structure of the Kin Universe

Modern British society has a domestic structure based on the elementary, primary or conjugal family. ‘Family’ and household are normally expected to coincide, and many statements on social phenomena use the two terms almost interchangeably. Yet the household as a social entity often does not coincide completely with the primary family. Sons or daughters at work or in a University or other college may live elsewhere than ‘at home’. Marriage of a son or daughter splits the conjugal family in residential terms, and ties between different households are created. The process of residential diversification and social linkage need not stop there since members of a conjugal family may have knowledge of and keep contact with other kin outside their family unit altogether. In this Chapter we describe and analyse the structure of these social relationships.