A. Kinship can be defined as society acknowledging biological connections between people. This view however has been challenged because kinship systems are regarded now as too complex. C. Levi-Strauss (1963) argued; “Kinship…only exists in human consciousness.” The correct way of studying the relationship between biology and kinship systems can only be made by looking at particular societies and cannot be made universally.
Biology may have very little to do with kinship when you look at cultures which ‘play with facts.’ However, once you take ethno biology into consideration, everything about kinship can be linked to biology. W. River’s (1965) work on kinship and reproduction argued that “kinship is the social recognition of biological ties.” In contrast, Malinowski’s studies on the Trobrianders shows their belief that there is no connection between conception and sexual intercourse. Furthermore, paternity was only recognised in a social sense and not a biological one. This was still classed as kinship. The Trobriander tribe distinguished between concepts of parents. Fathers had a social role (pater) and a physical role (genitor.)The genitor does not imply actual biological relationships but refers to the socially held belief that the father is physically related.
The European idea of descent fixed on biological blood relations was directly opposed when D. Schneider (1984) researched the Yap tribe. The relationship between father and child is not like the relationship in the West. His findings contradict the western view "You can choose your friends but you sho' can't choose your family, an' they're still kin to you no matter whether you acknowledge 'em or not, and it makes you look right silly when you don't." (Harper Lee, 1960.) According to Schneider’s study, anyone can be considered a child of an older man providing they respect his authority and care for him. This will grant the child... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(2011, 03). What Is the Relationship Between “Biology” and Kinship Systems?. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 03, 2011, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/What-Is-The-Relationship-Between-Biology-607291.html
"What Is the Relationship Between “Biology” and Kinship Systems?" StudyMode.com. 03 2011. 03 2011 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/What-Is-The-Relationship-Between-Biology-607291.html>.
"What Is the Relationship Between “Biology” and Kinship Systems?." StudyMode.com. 03, 2011. Accessed 03, 2011. http://www.studymode.com/essays/What-Is-The-Relationship-Between-Biology-607291.html.