American Kinship: A Cultural Account by David Murray Schneider

By David Murray Schneider

American Kinship is the 1st try to deal systematically with kinship as a procedure of symbols and meanings, and never easily as a community of functionally interrelated familial roles. Schneider argues that the research of a hugely differentiated society equivalent to our personal might be extra revealing of the character of kinship than the learn of anthropologically extra well-known, yet much less differentiated societies. He is going to the center of the ideology of family between family members in the US through finding the underlying good points of the definition of kinship—nature vs. legislation, substance vs. code. the most major positive factors of American Kinship, then, is the specific improvement of a conception of tradition on which the research relies, a concept that has on account that proved precious within the research of different cultures. For this Phoenix version, Schneider has written a considerable new bankruptcy, responding to his critics and recounting the costs in his proposal because the ebook used to be first released in 1968.

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Is in fact away at school most of the time. People may say that the child·":-m really has no family at all, for the two half-time arrangements are thought-\\] to be much less than one full-time arrangement. Whether he lives with · ·· his mother and step-father half of the time, or whether he lives at a :[g boarding school most of the time, it is really the question of custody and'j\� responsibility that is important. But perhaps, in a technical sense, the child of divorced parents has two families and not just one, if each par< ent has established a new family which is living together, and custody : r � ilia�.

Men have an active, women a passive quality, it is said. Men have greater physical strength and stamina than women. · Men are said to have mechanical aptitudes that women lack. Women have nurturant qualities which men lack Men tend toward an aggressive disposition said to be absent in women. The different qualities of maleness and femaleness are said by in­ formants to fit men and women for different kinds of activities and occupations. Men's active, aggressive qualities, their strength and stamina, are said to make them particularly good hunters and soldiers and to fit them for positions of authority, especially · where women and children are concerned.

This, according , the definition of of to American culture, is part women s nature. They can do these things by virtue of their natural endowment, though there is a great deal that they must learn as well. need to be done and how best to do them naturally. Men do not bear children, nor can they nurse them from their own bodies. The cultural premise is that they are not naturally endowed with ways of sensing infants' needs. But there are many things which a man can do if he cares to learn. What a woman can do naturally, it is so�etimes said in America, a man can learn-albeit slowly and not always with the smooth skill which a woman would exhibit.

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