chapter  8
40 Pages

Kin Gatherings

Kinship, even in our relatively atomistic North London society means more than dyadic relations. Collective social action by kin, or participation by kin in gatherings of a wider composition, definitely occurs. Apart from ordinary social calls or the occasional cocktail party, occasions on which kin assemble comprise mainly celebration of personal events in the individual life cycle and seasonal festivals. We know that weddings, funerals, Passover or Christmas dinner are occasions when kin inside and outside the immediate household are likely to come together. But not much systematic information has been available about such gatherings-how frequent and big they are; what types of kin usually come; how significant they are to the people concerned.1