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Compare and contrast social and biological approaches to the study of kinship von Langhoff, Christine (eBook)

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 17.10.2002
  • Verlag: GRIN Publishing
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Compare and contrast social and biological approaches to the study of kinship

Seminar paper from the year 2002 in the subject Archaeology, grade: 2.1 (B), Oxford University (New College), 4 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Compare and contrast social and biological approaches to the study of kinship by Christine Langhoff Kinship is the study of cultural interpretations of social relationships and social groups that are formed among people who stand in biological or quasi-biological relationships to each other. There are two main approaches to the study of kinship: the biological approach and the social approach. Both approaches can be further divided into different approaches. In the biological approach for example there are socio-ecological, socio-biological and evolutionary theories whereas in the social ones there are theories which try to explain overall patterns of kinship and others which state that one cannot make any generalisations about kinship patterns in different societies. Both approaches try to explain the different types of kinship structures and descent patterns but they do so in different ways. Biological theories often compare nonhuman primate kinship systems with those of humans and they also try to find evidence for the evolution of kinship structures. They tend to emphasise biological features within kinship and usually regard kinship systems as well adapted to environmental conditions. Social approaches on the other hand are more concerned about cultural differences between societies which cause the different kinds of kinship and descent structures and they emphasise non-biological relationships within kinship. The biological approach to the study of kinship can be split into many different approaches such as socio-ecological, socio-biological as well as evolutionary approaches. Socio-ecology and socio-biology try to show that human institutions, like the structures of animal societies, are adaptive, that is to say they result from the actions of individuals attempting to maximise their inclusive fitness. This means that in the biological approaches compare human kinship patterns to those found in other animals, in particular in primates. Although they do stress the importance of biological relationships between kin they also accept that people who are not biologically related can be kin too. [...]


    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: none
    Seitenzahl: 9
    Erscheinungsdatum: 17.10.2002
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9783638148177
    Verlag: GRIN Publishing
    Größe: 386 kBytes
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