chapter  7
24 Pages

Kinship

ACCORDING TO THE DICTIONARY, kinship has to do with relationships by blood, or consanguinity; affinity with relationships brought about by marriage. In social anthropology the two topics are very closely connected. All cultures distinguish various categories of kin and affines, and these categories, with their associated patterns of rights and obligations, make up what social anthropologists call kinship systems. In some societies every individual is, or thinks he is, related by kinship or affinity to everyone else: in others, including most Western ones, a man’s kin and affines are limited for practical purposes to a few close relatives. But in every society some relationships of kinship and affinity are culturally recognized.