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Kinship

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Sarah Happoldt

on 23 April 2010

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Transcript of Kinship

Kinship Terms:
A Cross-Cultural Analysis Sarah Happoldt
Sarah Mahoney
Noun 1. kinship system - (anthropology) the system of social relationships that constitute kinship in a particular culture, including the terminology that is used and the reciprocal obligations that are entailed Types of systems:
Six basic kinship systems exist in the world:
the Omaha system
the Crow system
the Iroquois system
the Hawaiian system
the Sudanese system
the Eskimo system The two functions of kinship systems are 1) to provide continuity between generations and 2) define the group of people who can depend on each other for mutual help




The Omaha System is based on patrilineal descent. You would call your father and all his brothers by the same term. This is because your father and his brothers are all approximately the same age; therefore, they are all in the same generation of your patrilineal kin group. Being in the same generation, they have equal authority over you and you must show them all the same respect.It is the same as the Iroquois system but the change is in your mothers side. According to the Omaha system, because you take your descent from your father’s side, your mothers side is not as important, so you group them differently. Your mother and her sisters will have the same term, but so will all the other females on your mother’s patrilineal side. Sudanese Kinship: The Sudanese System is totally different from all the others. It doesn’t classify you according to your sex or generation. It classifies you according to your status in the society or your occupation.
No two relatives share the same term
Our kinship system is called the Eskimo System. It’s used by many industrial societies. In our system, all cousins are lumped under the general term “cousin” regardless of their sex or whether they are on your father’s side or mother’s side. No other relatives in your family will have the same terms that are used for members of your immediate (nuclear) family. In the above diagram father (baba), father's brother (emme), and mother's brother (dayi) each gets a separate term, as is the case for mother, mother's sister and father's sister. There are four cousin terms descriptively designated as children of the distinct parents concerned TURKISH: The Hawaiian System is the most simple. You get to choose your line of descent, whereas if you are born in a patrilineal or matrilineal society, you have no choice. In the Hawaiian System, all relatives who are of the same sex and in the same generation have the same term. Hawaiian Terms:
English The Iroquois System is unique and used by very few societies in the world. they are matrilineal. Siblings of the same sex class count as blood relatives, but siblings of the opposite sex count as relatives by marriage.
Yanomamo: Father's brother and father are merged in a single term, haya, and distinguished from mother's brother, soaya,
and mother's sister is merged with mother, naya, and distinguished from father's sister, yesiya.
Crow System: This is the mirror image of the omaha system. Here the mother’s lineage gets the priority and respect, so kinship terms are distinguished by generation on the mother’s side, but not on the father’s side. If you grow up in a matrilineal society, most likely it will be your mother’s brother who will discipline and train you more than your biological father. A woman’s brother will have more authority over her children than their father has. The plan follows the basic Iroquois and Omaha pattern of merging father's brother and father (agya) and mother's sister and mother (ena), while distinguishing mother's brother (wofa) and father's sister (agyawa). Parallel cousins are grouped with brothers and sisters (nua) without any intrinsic gender distinction. Cross cousins get a separate term.

Discussion: any special names you call certain family members?
Do you think having a special name for that family member creates a special bond? DANI: Akan: Formal and Informal Terms:
-coincides with the closeness of relationships
-used by different classes and areas
-shows politeness used with formal terms

Examples from Norway

The terms “beste mor” (“best mother”) and “beste far” (“best father”) are rural terms.

Examples from England
Also , in Northern England “nan” or “nanna” (for grandmother) is often use. It is also possibly used more frequently among the lower classes. “Nanny” tends to be used more commonly amongst higher classes.

Addressing a grandparent with the formal terms “grandmother” and “grandfather” shows respect and perhaps emotional distance
Lewis Henry Morgan identified these 6 systems through kinship terminology in his 1871 work "Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family"
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