Kinship and Society

This course is an introduction to social anthropology and its theoretical basis that draws extensively from the study of kinship. The course tracks the primary debates within the anthropology-sociology of kinship and builds on it to engage with contemporary studies in the area. The aim of the course is to familiarize students to the idea of kinship and the ways in which it has been studied through ethnographic and textual methods. In the process we look at: what makes relationships and families; what is the meaning of a blood tie?; who are relatives?; and how do we understand new forms of relationships?


DM Schneider, American kinship: A cultural account. University of Chicago Press, 1980.

Janet Carsten, Cultures of Relatedness. Cambridge University Press, 2000.

Margaret Trawick, Notes on Love in a Tamil Family. Oxford University Press, 1990.

Sarah Franklin and Susan McKinnon. Relative values: reconfiguring kinship studies. Duke University Press, 2001.

Claude Levi-Strauss, The elementary structures of kinship. Beacon Press, 1969.

Kath Weston, Families We Choose: Lesbians, Gays, Kinship. Columbia University Press, 1991.


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