chapter  12
40 Pages

The Quality of Kin Relations

We have already given much incidental material on the roles played by individual kin. But we need to look more closely at the problem of the particular quality of these individual relationships. What is a mother, a mother-in-law, an uncle, an aunt, a cousinas an ideal type, and as a concrete relationship? There are some conventional notions in literature and in popular talk-stereotypes one might call them-associated with the concept of each of these types of relationship. What we want to do here is to see how far such stereotypes exist in our North London field, and the degree to which our empirical material corresponds to them. We want also to sort out the kinds of ways in which one category of kin differs from another category. The best procedure for tackling these questions is to combine presentation of selected case materials with general summaries of the overall position.