According to Brian Schwimmer, “kinship is constructed from a set of categories, groups, relationships, and behaviors based upon culturally determined beliefs and values concerning human biology and reproduction.” (Schwimmer, 1996) This definition resonates with me because it has the influx of the sociobiology and relativist perspective on the subject. Faubion describes kinship as “…illustrative of the constitution of intersubjectivity, of organized alterity…” (Faubion, 2001) which can be defined as a method of illustrating and identifying those related to oneself. Faubion argues that it is human nature that influences this common “…mode of organizing alterity that appears to rest on a biological definite ground from which it nevertheless tends to float free…” (Faubion, 2001) Despite the tension, in which Faubion describes as the differentiating between natural and invented kinship relations, there is a common framework as to how humans classify their kin.
As for my own observation of kinship, it has been the classification and labeling of members of a bloodline and also the societal pressures that encompass these labels. These labels have been definite and I have never questioned them, due to my limited view of kinship on a global scale. This narrow perspective provoked the idea that the framework of kinship that I was familiar with is similar throughout the world regardless of culture. It is this naturalist perspective that I agree with because we are all flesh and blood; I do however understand that culturally and socially, societies differ in a plethora of ways, but there’s no denying that there is a common bond of humanism that connects us all. According to Faubion, there is a similar framework throughout, however it does not mean there aren’t distinctions that set each system apart and is, by far, not simply explained. I agree with Faubion’s theory that it is perhaps, human nature, which invokes this common conception of kinship,