DEGREE IN SOCIOLOGY AND GENDER DEVELOPMENT STUDIES (ODL progamme) INTAKE
Mr W Masunda
Cultural Antropology 1
Kin relations differ and change with socio-economic and cultural contexts. Discuss with illustrative examples. DUE DATE
Changes over the last 30 years in patterns of family formation and dissolution have given rise to questions about the definition of kin relations (Schneider, D. 1980). They are traditionally defined s ties based on blood and marriage. They include lineal generational bonds (children, parents, grandparents and great grandparents), collateral bonds (siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles) and ties with the in-laws. In most society’s kin relations is a system of interdependent relations, where family integrity requires cooperative interconnectedness. However it is commonly assumed, for example, that the interconnected interdependent family/human orientations are not compatible with socio-economic development. Kinship is the web of social relationships that form an important part of the lives of most humans in most societies. In some cultures, kinship relationships may be considered to extend out to people an individual has economic or political relationships with, or other forms of social connections. Within a culture, some descent groups may be considered to lead back to gods or animal ancestors’ totems.It’s no longer about blood and marriage when looking at the cases of adoption, births resulting from infertility treatments, broken and reconstituted families. This gives a clear picture that kin relations are always changing and differ with socio-economic -and cultural context. Different societies classify kin relations differently and therefore use different systems of kinship. In the eastern parts of Zimbabwe especially in Manicaland people can be related simply because they share the same totem. Contrary to the southern part in Matebeleland where totems were inherited to escape racial discrimination, totems are not considered. The Shona people who moved to Matebeleland had to change their totems to become their surnames. For instance one with a lion origin (shumba) will automatically become a (masibanda) and the surname will be Sibanda so that they won’t be discriminated by the original Ndebele people. One can then marry a person with the same totem because its not that important to hem whilst in the eastern part it will be a taboo because it’s a sibling. Thus kin relations differ with cultural context.
In most societies in the Majority World the family is a system of interdependent relations, where family integrity requires cooperative interconnectedness. The strongest kinship norm in a socio-economic context is the obligation towards children followed by that towards parents then of the extended families. It is highly a fact that altruistic exist largely to lineal bonds. For example parents firsts consider the well being of their children first (the immediate family), when finances are available they will then consider the extended families. That is in the context of collectivistic cultures like Islam where you cannot leave a brother or sister without helping. In collective cultures one is willing to die for his or her family ( ). This is different in individualistic culture for example Europe or America, They stress on independence, self sufficient and pursuit of personal goes.
For many Westernized societies kin have traditionally been of a blood tie nature, making up the nuclear family (parents and children). However this is breaking down due to industrialization and modernization. With individuals moving from home, sometimes even to other countries, in search of jobs ,the family of orientation(that of one’s birth) is quickly broken up while the formation of the family of procreation is being delayed as people...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document