Ju/'Hoansi Kinship

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Kinship – a social institution
The Ju’hoansi people are from Botswana Africa. Their kinship system is definitely a social institution in the eyes of Canadian anthropologist, Richard Lee. Lee wrote his ethnography The Dobe Ju/’hoansi based on his fieldwork from the 1960s all the way up to the present day. Lee’s anthropological perspective is a materialistic view and his theory is cultural ecology. Cultural ecology is a theory in which the environment determines the culture. The Ju/’hoansi live in a very harsh environment, therefore, living quite a harsh lifestyle. This is why they live an egalitarian lifestyle based on sharing. They need this egalitarian lifestyle to survive because if one man rises up and starts dictating or leading, resources will be shared out unevenly, making the whole society collapse. According to Lee, they rely on stability and coherence. The Ju/’hoan kinship system is cognatic its three stages are: •Kinship 1 – Joking/avoidance relationship

Kinship 2 – Name relationships
Kinship 3 – Principle of Wi
The first kinship stage involves the relationship with immediate family. This is where the grandsons usually receive the name of their grandfather. Grandmothers’ names and granddaughters’ names are reciprocal (e.g tun – “grandmother” and tuma – “granddaughter”). A grandfather/grandson or grandmother/granddaughter relationship is what is called a joking relationship. This means they speak to each other in a relaxed manner or informally. A father/son or mother/daughter relationship is called an avoidance relationship. This means they show respect and speak formally to each other. This kinship stage would definitely make the ‘joking relationship’ a very social system in the sense that their social interactions would be friendly and happy which is important in Ju/’hoan life. The next two kinship stages have quite a large effect in Ju/’hoan social life. The second kinship stage is name relationship. When you are named, that name is descended...
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