chapter
A Methodological Excursus
Pages 14

STRUCTURAL THEORY MARKS OUT A BROAD BUT DEFINABLE FIELD OF INQUIRY IN THE manifold universe of kinship facts. The length and breadth of it can hardly be better plotted than in the terms of Morgan's original discoveries. One dimension stands for the province of familial or, as he put it, domestic kinship connecting person to person in a scheme of dyadic relations. The other epitomizes the principle iniplied in his analysis of the gentile organization and its supposed territorial successor. What this is concerned with is the part played by kinship rules and concepts in the allocation of civic status-in other words, the determination of citizenship in the political community. This, essentially, is the matter at issue in a great deal of current controversy and research on those aspects of kinship and social organization to which Radcliffe-Brown devoted his last theoretical statement. For what is "civic status" or "citizenship" but a comprehensive label for the collection of rights and duties, privileges and responsibilities presupposed in the notion of jural relations ?