An Introduction to Network Analysis of Genealogy and Politics: Social Dynamics in a Nomadic Society

Douglas White and Ulla Johansen

Jan 1 2001 ftp/ulla/26Prospectus

Book Prospectus: Altamira Press

Manuscript Guide

1. Intellectual Contribution

This book demonstrates through an ethnographic case study how computer-based and network studies transform the potential for using traditional community ethnography and genealogical study. The approach taken to studying social dynamics emphasizes how social relations change through time in the context of emergent networks and changing historical and demographic conditions. In transforming the qualitative data collected by ethnographic methods into a more systematic framework suitable for network analysis, this approach alters in fundamental ways the anthropological concepts of social structure and organizational dynamics, of social cohesion, marriage strategies, and of how to study the embedding of community level politics within the dynamics of ongoing personal interaction.

The analysis of community genealogies by computer has much to contribute to the humanities and social sciences and to the understanding of human communities and social histories. One of the key analytic concepts for the network analysis used in the book is a new measure of social cohesion that emphasizes the distributed properties of social networks in defining clusters of actors. This concept is related to insights from contemporary anthropology that emphasize principles of social organization in complex societies. The use of new concepts of social cohesion allow us to analyze how the society is integrated at multiple levels that include extended families, lineages, political factions, clans, and the larger world of outside groups.

2. The Audience

A. General. The book is written as an instructional manual for students, ethnographers, historians, genealogists, demographers or museologists with interests in data on historical or contemporary communities. The introduction reviews both the significance of the methods used in the study, and the availability of freeware and commercial programs available for genealogical and network analysis of community-level social organization and social change. It will also be of special interest to specialists in the Middle East, as the nomadic society is a groups of Islamized traditional nomads in Southeastern Turkey, and to researchers in economic and social development who understand the importance of social organization in institutional social change and may thereby value the contribution of new methodologies for network analysis of social organization.

The P-graph approach to genealogical analysis used in this book has a potentially huge popular and professional market in the genealogical audience, as is indexed by the fact that the P-graph method used in the books is already indexed under "Douglas R. White" and the "Linkages Project" at sites related to 25 well-used web sites such as the Yahoo Index and others listed below:

Genealogy/P-graph links to or White's home page

This diverse list of web sites indexing wide interest in our methods is relevant because the last decade has seen a reflorescence of the study of community social structure, beginning with the genealogical linkages amongst community members. Genealogically based web sites have become one of the most popular noncommercial sites on the web. The internet burgeons with computerized genealogies organized by community, extended families, regions, and social registers. Formats for exchange of data allow researchers to assemble and integrate genealogical information from diverse sources. Commercial software and freeware (such the Pajek software we use in this book) provide database entry, graphics and diagrams, and various forms of structural and statistical analysis. Social network analysts turn to such data -- and the data of ethnography and social history -- to explore the structure of genealogical networks, the genealogical construction of community, social class, and various types of elites.

B. Level. The book is written for a general reader with a technical interest in the use of computers to study social organization; upper division student; professional anthropologists, genealogists, historians, and demographers.

C. Lists.

ANTHAP: The Applied Anthropology Computer Network (

Anthro Directory

Worldwide Anthro Directory I have appended a 43-page list from searches for names under: kinship, networks, social organization, development

Sample Journals and Societies: (1) Cultural Anthropology - open to innovations in theory, research, and ethnography. (2) Cultural Dynamics - a programmatic journal which invites scholars to think about culture, cutting across the traditional boundaries of the social sciences. (3) German Anthropology Online - provides information on cultural and social anthropology. (4) Society for Applied Anthropology and its journal, Human Organization (5) Society for Humanistic Anthropology (6) Society for the Anthropology of Europe

D. Courses. Anthropology: Upper Division and Graduate Seminars in Social Organization; Kinship; Social Networks; Development; Social Change; Middle Eastern Studies. I personally know of courses at EHESS in Paris, the Max Planck university program in demography at Rostok, Kent University in England, UCLA, Cologne and Hamburg universities in Germany, and elsewhere, where this book would be used in courses.

E. Specialized groups. Genealogical web sites contain extensive lists of people and organizations with interests in the subject matter, as noted above.

3. Competition

There are few publications on the use of computer-based genealogical and network analysis for community-level studies. Many of these publications are by the author (see Adaptations of the program Pajek (Slovenian for "Spider," a program for large network analysis) and the anthropological P-graph software were developed by the author for use in genealogical and network analysis. The present proposal is the first book-length exposition of this methodology applied to an ethnographic case study. Article-length introductions were presented in the Cambridge University Press, 1998 publication, edited by Thomas Schweizer and Douglas R. White, KINSHIP, NETWORKS, AND EXCHANGE. Structural Analysis in the Social Sciences Series, ( Copies of relevant chapters by the author are attached as writing samples.

The following are two examples of recent articles on kinship methods, one published on-line and the other describing a computer-based system for analysis of kinship terminologies. The first is a tutorial on kinship, and the second treats only kinship terminology. There is no competitor for treating kinship in terms of network analysis.

Brian Schwimmer. Kinship and Social Organization: An Interactive Tutorial by ( and

READ, Dwight W., and Clifford Behrens 1990 KAES: An Expert System for the Algebraic Analysis of Kinship Terminologies. Journal of Quantitative Anthropology 2:353-393.

Because there is such a wide potential market for this approach, as indicated by the genealogical web page references to P-graph methodology (developed by the author), it is useful to compare potential demand for our book with the demand for instructional texts and software for methods such as Genogram, which is widely used for the analysis of genealogical and family data, among but the psychology audience in the U.S. and elsewhere (as cited at

* by therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, addiction counselors and other caregivers, in private offices, institutions, social welfare and family service agencies, in professional training and education, and consultation.

* by family practice and other medical doctors, nurses, hospitals, training institutions and maternity centers to assist health and healing with in-depth family history-taking, medical genealogy, and biopsychosocial understanding of the living system of patients and families.

* by clergy and pastoral counselors in churches, synagogues and places of worship and care of all religions and denominations, to assist moral and spiritual awareness, premarital counseling, prevention, and faith-friendly intervention that promotes the loving and responsible values of all traditions.

* in courts, by judges, juries, probation, parole, youth and adult officers, to assist victims, rehabilitate perpetrators, and reduce recidivism, as well as in family law, community mediation and arbitration settings to avert family disintegration, assist family reintegration, aid responsible parenting, assist foster and adoptive families, and strengthen community.

* in schools and educational settings, by counselors, family life teachers, and special education professionals to assist students, their families, and the professionals who serve them during the developmental years.

* by professors and students in major colleges and universities, in psychology, social work, anthropology, sociology, and human ecology in classes and training labs; by historians and psychohistorians, by political scientists, anthropologists, biographers and genealogists, as well as other interdisciplinary researchers concerned with the human condition over time.

Core Genogram publications include the following.

1. McGoldrick M. Gerson R. Genograms in Family Assessment. New York: W.W. Norton, 1985.

2. Like BC, Rogers J. McGoldrick M. Reading and Interpreting Genograms: A systematic approach. J Fam Prac 1988;26(4):407-412.

3. Crouch MA, Davis, T. Using the Genogram (Family Tree) Clinically. In MA Crouch, L. Roberts (Eds.). The Family in Medical Practice: A family Systems Primer. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1986, 174-192.

4. Mullins HC, Christie-Seely, J. Collecting and Recording Family Data - The Genogram. In J Christie-Seely (Ed.) Working with the Family in Primary Care: A Systems Approach to Health and Illness. New York: Praeger, 1984, 179-181.

Genogram, however, is a family-level analytic system oriented to psychological study. No comparable software is available for community-level genealogical analysis oriented to anthropological study, other than Pgraph and Pajek, as reviewed in the book.

Our book will have a combined effect with articles already published (see, and with other books currently being drafted that use these methods, in generating as potentially wide a demand as has Genogram methods over the past decade but this will be the first book length treatment to act as a paradigm for these new methods of analysis.

4. Authors

The first author is an acknowledged expert in the area of community-level genealogical, ethnographic and network analysis, as shown by reviews of previous work ('Homme.htm), which have been very favorable. Douglas R. White ( is Graduate Director of the Social Networks program, a member of the Institute of Mathematical Behavioral Science, and of the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine, CA 92697. His current work is on complexity theory and the effects of emergent structure on a large scale in social networks, including his studies of social class, large scale cohesion, solidarity and exchange, elites, markets, and global processes. He does extensive collaboration of longitudinal social research projects in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia, and was awarded in 1990 the Alexander von Humboldt prize as a Distinguished Senior U.S. Social Scientist to further his collaborative work on different social systems worldwide.

The second author, Dr. Ulla Johansen, is a long-term fieldworker in Turkish-speaking societies, and has spent eight field sessions among the people studied in the present work. She is an ethnographer, a fluent Turkish speaker, and the retired Director and Professor of the Institute of Ethnology at the University of Cologne. Her current work is on the ethnography of Turkish-speaking peoples and of Estonians, on shamanism and other fields of the comparative study of religion. Her books are articles deal also with ethnohistory. She is honorary member of the German Anthropological Association (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Völkerkunde) and President of the international SOCIETAS URALO-ALTAICA.

5. Technical Specifications

We have a complete draft of the book. It has nearly 200 1.5 spaced pages, including 32 figures or network graphics and 28 tables. Reviewers will be helpful in suggesting where to simplify the exposition, where to cut or expand for clarity.

Web links are provided for the reader to download current software (the Pajek program is regularly updated), and the explanation of methodology provides the reader with instruction in how to use this software to do network analysis of a population for which a database exists. Instruction is also give on how to construct such a database from ethnographic or historical data.

Links are also provided to access web pages that contain the complete genealogical database for the early ancestors (not including the current, living generation) and a large collection of photographs. A selection of these photos has been made for the book, and can be reproduced in one section of plates (many B/W, some color) in the book. We have a striking book cover design that includes a group photograph of the clan elders overlaid by a network diagram of their genealogical connections.

6. Outline and Writing Samples

Chapter 1 and the conclusion are appended. A chapter writing sample from the Cambridge University Press book (1998) is photocopied for mailing.

There are six key feature of the book. First, it is organized into sections that alternate between the ethnography and 19 analytic sections that present results and explain methods. Second the ethnographic with chapters and topics serve as background to the analytic sections, so that the focus is on the methodology and types of results that can be achieved. Third, there are key definitions of analytic terms introduced as needed for the analysis. Fourth, hypotheses that derive from the ethnographic context and general theoretical questions about social organization are formally presented and tested using the analytic methods of the book. Fifth, there are graphic displays of the networks at key points to illustrate the analytic results. Sixth, further readings are given at the end of each chapter relevant to the topics introduced.

The book also briefly reviews the work of a team of anthropological researchers and computer scientists in developing new methods and applications for the analysis of community genealogies. It answers a need to respond to requests from students, social scientists and the public at large for guidance in the new concepts, findings and methods of analysis.

The first chapter introduces the graphic representation of social networks and the analytic framework that is specifically suited to the analysis of large genealogical and social networks. Software and simulation methods for analysis of community genealogies are reviewed, including Pgraph, the special purpose software used in the earlier articles, and Pajek, the general purpose analytic system designed and implemented as freeware by professional computer scientists for social network and genealogical analysis.

The second chapter gives the ethnographic background of the Turkish nomad clan. The third develops key terms for the study of network structure to questions about social integration about the clan and links to larger village and intertribal contexts. A key hypothesis about the predictive consequences of structural endogamy for continued clan membership versus choices for emigration is presented and tested with the new analytic methods of network analysis.

Chapter 4 examines the relation between social cohesion and political leadership.

The fifth chapter provides methods for evaluating structural and statistical studies of marriage systems by comparing results to those of computer simulation in which demographic features of a case study are held constant, but marriages are permuted to model what the society would look like with random partner selection rather than any specific marriage preferences or strategies. Comparisons to simulated models assess the relative contributions of demographic constraints versus marriages rules and strategies to various aspects of social structure and organization.

Chapter 6 brings together the themes of social cohesion, politics, and social dynamics in a graph-theoretic treatment, representation and analysis of the issues of social integration and fragmentation.

The conclusion discusses how these applications to community genealogy and ethnography, using the newest methods of analysis, help us to see what can be learned more generally from ethnographic and social historical studies carried out on a large scale, where community members number in the thousands, and the time span covers one or more centuries. It reviews the importance of new conceptions of social cohesion that are appropriate for community genealogy, and derive from a network orientation to ethnographic studies.

The writing of the manuscript distinguishes three voices, one of the analyst, one of the ethnographer, and one that represents a perspective that combines the two. The use of this style is intended to emphasize the fact that the traditional ethnographer, without a specialized network study, may utilize the approaches taken in the book as an additional analytic perspective that builds on the type of data ordinarily collected in ethnographic, historical or longer-term demographic studies.



Preface 4

Ch. 1: Analytic Introduction 7

The Network Approach: Emergent Patterns from Behavioral Choices

Observed across Time

Key Analytic Terms for Social Groupings 8

A New Representation of Kinship Networks 12

The Graph Theoretic Foundation of P-graphs 13

Menger's Theorem for Bicomponents and Cutnodes 15

P-graphs, Structural Endogamy, and Appropriate Software

Costs and Benefits of New Analytic Paradigms 17

Software Availability 19

Method: Preparation of the Data 20

Foundations for a Network Theory of Kinship

Theories of Alliance and Avoidance

Social Structure, Social Organization, Social Choice and Historical Change

Unification and Social Dynamics: Social Behavior and Emergent Norms

Further Readings 27

Ch. 2: Ethnographic Setting 33

Fieldwork Conditions 34

Population 35

Names and Shifting Levels

Economic Basis and Inheritance Rules 36

Further Readings 39

Ch. 3: The Structure of the Clan 40

Information about the Past from Oral Traditions

Taking the Genealogies 41

Oral Traditions of the Lineage Founders

Analysis 1: From Genealogies to Genealogical Networks 46

Written Historical Information about the Development of the Clan 49

Clan Amalgamation in Historical Times 50

Leadership of the Clan and Social Ranking of Lineages

Intermarriage and Descent as Bases of Clan Cohesion 56

Sedentarization and Genealogical Memory 57

Overview of the Computer Analyses 58

Analysis 2: Preliminary Tabulations of Marriages 59

Tabulation by Generations

Analysis 3: Basic Demography 62

Analysis 4: Was There a Single Clan Root?

Analysis 5: Marriage Preferences by Lineages;

Implications for Clan Integration 65

Analysis 6: The Structural Endogamy Hypothesis

Analysis 7: The Amalgamation of Outside Tribes into the Clan

by Marriage ˝ A Larger Unit of Structural Endogamy 74

Further Readings 80

Ch. 4: Marriage, Rank and Leadership 81

Competition for Social Rank and Feuding

Analysis 8: Network Hypotheses about Leadership Rankings 82

Marriage Customs

Interpersonal Behavior in the Extended Family 86

Analysis 9: Barth's Hypotheses Reconsidered 88

Analysis 10: Bias towards Same Generation Consanguineal

Marriage and the Qur'an 92

Analysis 11: Relinking Density and Clan or Subgroup Cohesion

Further Readings 111

Ch. 5: Marriage Structures and Dynamics 112

Analysis 12: Consanguineal Marriages and Historical Change 115

Analysis 13: Marriage Avoidances and Relinkings -

An Alternative to Theories of Descent and Alliances

Analysis 14: Patterns of Two-Family Relinking

Analysis 15: Two-Family Relinking and Historical Change 130

Analysis 16: How are kinship units formed and why do

units of different scale bear the same name? How and

why do kinship groups result from marriage patterns? 130

Further Readings 135

Ch. 6: Graphic Approaches 136

Analysis 17: Why such a high level of Relinking? 141

Analysis 18: The Moving Picture 145

Analysis 19: Overall Cohesion, Lineage and Leadership 151

Further Readings 157

Ch. 7: Conclusions 158

Ethnogenesis of the Clan

Clan Cohesion and Maintenance 160

Decline 161

Norms and Behavior 163

Structural Endogamy 164

Subgroup Analysis 165

Leadership and the Political System

Measure of Relinking Density 169

Identification of Emergent Forms

Consanguineal and Intra-lineage Marriages as Cohesive Relinking 170

Two-Family Relinking Marriages 174

Relinking of Two Families and Historical Change 175

Graphic Approaches

Summary 177

Further Readings 179

References: see also chapter readings 183

Biographical sketches 189

Placement of Definitions, Axioms, Hypotheses, Figures and Tables 192

Appendix 1: Guide to the Nomad Genealogical Data on the Web 192

Appendix 2: Pajek Software Instructions






Ch. 1: Analytic Introduction

The Network Approach: Emergent Patterns from Behavioral Choices Observed across Time

The development of analytic and computerized tools specific to ethnographic research opens the exciting possibility of a relatively complete social network analysis of a community and its histories. At both the general morphological level and the detailed interpersonal level, network analysis has the capacity to show many of the fundamental structures and processes of the formation, adaptation and potential dissolution or remaking of a society. The intersections and contending principles of multiple networks in history define multiple points of view both the multiplex and heterogeneous relationships among individuals. With the help of the network approach, many general or more specialized questions of social anthropology can be explored. In our cases such questions are: How does the nomadic clan constitute and reconstitute itself through time as a unit of social survival? How does it relate to wider social identities from nomadic to sedentary and over a range of ethnicities and territorial groups? How does it encompass in its constituent units such as tribal groups, lineages, and extended families? How does social memory operate in its construction and expressed social charter? What role do marriage and different types of marriage play in the constitution and interrelation of the various social entities that make up the society? A network approach allows feedback between system, structures and actors in an environment, viewed in terms of co-evolving dynamics.

Normally these questions are addressed at the societal level by examining the ethnographic, especially the genealogical data so as to abstract out of observed behavior and recorded dialog a set of general norms and special rules, and strategies. Together with anecdotal examples and exceptions, these may come to constitute a model of social structure and societal operation. Because of the level of abstraction, it is difficult to see, especially over time, the emergence of social patterns out of social interaction. The network approach is both more general ˝ in that it subsumes and incorporates description at the normative level ˝ and more specific, in that it assembles the data on social interaction into a time-dependent structure on the basis of who specifically interacts with whom. We take genealogical relationships of members of a society as indicative of interactive relationships between parent/child and close kin within nuclear and extended families, lineages or other kinship units that can be demarcated within the genealogical network, and between spouses or inter-marrying families. This provides an initial basis for an ethnographic network analysis.

Nomads, like many other ethnic groups, exemplify the use of terms for social groups in ways that imply flexible rather than rigid social boundaries: the Turkish word aile, for example, means wife but is also used for smaller families. The nomads are not so formal about their social organization as anthropologists would like them to be. This can result in great confusion in interpreting ethnographic accounts, as when Eberhard (1953a: 46) uses kabile to denote tribes, but the meaning of the word ostensibly changes in Bates' (1973) ethnography of nomads in the same area. Here lies one of the problems for the analysis of nomad social organization in Turkey. The word kabile, usually reserved for "clan," for example, is also used for both lineages smaller than a clan or the larger political units such as tribes (officially aşiret), which are political confederations.

Such terms offer a good example of how network analysis can bridge the gap between emic discourse that does not need unique denotations, and the discourse of anthropologists, who do need within their circles a medium to express more formally what their language denotes, as the basis for scientific comparison. Network analysis dispenses with the necessity for the ethnographer to label forms of social organization that people themselves do not feel the necessity to label. The ethnography can remain more emic by committing to an impression nearer to the facts by focusing on the variant usage as expressed relative to variations in kinds of groupings in the genealogical network itself. It is not necessary to reduce social organization to a set of norms and rules and associated denotative concepts alone. Ours is the first study of Turkish nomads to examine marital relinkings as the network basis for the formation of shifting aile and kabile groupings on the basis of flexible principles for asserting group membership, principles that might apply from the extended family up to the tribal level. We will shortly expand on what we mean by these assertions by defining some key analytic terms.

Key Analytic Terms for Social Groupings

We begin by considering an emergent pattern noted by Johansen. Residential choice is so strictly patrilocal among the nomads that it lends itself very little to understanding the social dynamics of nomad society, although the patrilocal extended family is the basic structural unit of separate residential units. There was no postmarital choice of residence for nomadic couples at least until 1982. The bride entered the joint family of the groom, usually for the first 15 years after marriage or longer. After marriage, sons most often lived together with their father, forming the joint extended family, lasting until the death or mental disability of the head of the family. Yet there was considerable variation in further extensions of the family around the core of a localized shallow patrilineage, and in terms of when such shallow lineages segmented, or more rarely, when the deeper memories of patrilineages merged.

The social groupings that we examine are not normative constructions, and not household groupings, but rather social units whose emergence is discernible within the social networks that result from actual behavior and are discussed in this shifting context by members of the nomad group as having a temporal existence. For this analysis we need a vocabulary of emergent forms of social groupings. A marriage, for example, is one step in the developmental cycle of a domestic unit, one usually followed by the birth of children, their growth and eventual marriage, and the displacement of the parents to grandparental status.

Marital Relinking (Definition 1). Typically, we think of bride and groom as coming from different families. Marital relinking is the term used by European ethnographers (cf. Brudner and White 1997) to refer to the situation where the families of bride and groom are already linked by kinship or marriage. As such, it is a form of endogamy. Each such relinking defines one or more circular or closed pathways of ties among relatives who, by virtue of such circularity, are multiply related. In an endogamous community spouses will often be related in a variety of ways before marriage. We may expand our vocabulary further in order to distinguish various types of marital relinking.

Affinal relinking (Definition 1a) refers to the case, common in European villages, where the bride and groom are not blood relatives, but are linked by prior marriage between their families. Consanguineal relinking (Definition 1b) refers to marriage between consanguineal relatives, and calls attention to the fact that their respective nuclear families are already linked by blood ties. Many societies that lack prohibitions against marriage between blood relatives have a high degree of consanguineal marriage relinkings. There are many subtypes of consanguineal and affinal relinking, some of which we will define later.

Is there some threshold at which the quantity and overlap of relinking marriages (defined sufficiently broadly so as to include European societies and endogamy in complex systems of stratification defined by relatively endogamous social classes) provide criteria of cohesion of a self-reproducing group? Can the existence of such thresholds be taken as a sort of anthropological axiom for the existence of a self-reproducing social group? If so, would not this axiom also apply to the ethnogenesis or formation of groups by marital relinking and as well to the dissolution of groups by the process of disentanglement of marriage with previously related families? Assimilative marriages with members of other groups, for example, might be characterized by the scarceness of relinking.

Relinkings as multiple and overlapping pathways (and hence circularity) of relatedness among families thus might have an effect, discernable in communities that are highly endogamous over considerable periods of time, of reconstituting the relative saliency of certain groupings of relatives as opposed to others. This is what we mean in the present context by multiple networks whose intersections and contending principles define both the multiplex and heterogeneous relationships among individuals and the continual emergence of and shifting reemergence in patterns of social groups (cf. Padgett 1998). It is these shifting patterns that we identified earlier as "the network basis for the formation of shifting aile and kabile groupings on the basis of flexible principles for asserting group membership, principles that might apply from the extended family up to the tribal level." We shall now begin to clarify what we mean by intuitive statements such as "multiple and overlapping pathways" or "circularity of relatedness."

Axiom 2: The Axiom of Cohesion. One of the principal ways in which cohesion is created in social groups is through multiple independent pathways that connect group members, and the redundancies by which these pathways overlap.

The vagueness of this generalization has been removed by White and Harary (2000) in terms of formal concepts taken from graph theory, some of which will be introduced here in order to clarify the conceptual foundations of our study of social cohesion. The substantive relevance of the axiom to a wide variety of problems in sociology has been examined by Moody and White (2000).

Categorical Endogamy (Definition 2). In European society, the term endogamy is often understood in terms of intermarriage among persons of similar social category, such as marriage within a social class, occupational group, or territorial area. Categorical endogamy does not necessarily entail marital relinking. It is easy to imagine a very low fertility society in which siblings are very rare over several generations and while marriage is largely endogamous to the group, very few potential spouses will have recognizable prior kinship links either through blood or marriage. The same result might occur with a large and highly mobile population. Hence a population might have high rates of endogamy in a purely formal sense, but social cohesion via multiple kinship and marriage links is lacking. In such cases, the same lack of social cohesion or positive evidence for endogamy will also characterize arbitrary bounded units within such a population, its subgroups, or larger groupings that contain it. Hence it is hard to determine the boundaries of endogamy in such cases, except perhaps in terms of normative statements about what kinds of persons tend to be chosen as spouses. Group cohesion is often provided by factors other than kinship, e.g., economic interests.

Structural Endogamy (Definition 3). Relinking marriages, whether of the affinal or consanguineal variety, constitute positive evidence for endogamy. When marriages not only link different families, but begin to form multiple and overlapping (re-) linkings, the boundaries of an endogamous group can be defined by inclusion in those overlapping sets of families who are relinked. Formally defined, in an observed kinship and marriage network, a structurally endogamous subgroup is an as-large-as-possible (maximal) set of marriages in the network in which each pair of spouses is multiply related by independent pathways (distinct recognizable relationships through kinship and marriage ties) to every other pair of spouses. Structural endogamy is thus a pattern of relinking that defines the boundaries of a social group. Kinship in such a case may be an important factor in group cohesion.

A New Representation of Kinship Networks

In a group with extensive relinking, relatives on one side of a given ego's family (e.g., ego's father) will typically be connected to the other side (e.g., ego's mother) prior to the parents' marriage (i.e., independently of the marriages in ego's sibling group). When this type of situation is prevalent, it is easier and more efficient to represent kinship and marriage relations in a graphic form where it is not individuals but the marriages themselves that are the nodes of the graph (along with unmarried individuals). This kind of structure is known as a P-graph, with the mnemonic "p" for parental graph or graph de parenté (White and Jorion 1992).

P-graph (Definition 4). A P-graph consists of a set of nodes that represent marriages, couples, or unmarried individuals, together with two kinds of directed links (lines) between nodes. The lines or edges represent each distinct individual's links (as either the sole occupant of a node or co-occupant along with a spouse) to the node representing the marriage of his or her parents. The parental links of males constitute one kind of link, and the parental links of females constitute the other.

Figure 1a represents a conventional genealogy that has been recoded as a P-graph. Couples 1-4 are not the only nodes or individuals in the genealogical network, but they are the largest set of marriages that is structurally endogamous. If any one of these four nodes is removed, the remaining three remain connected. In this particular instance, the structurally endogamous unit among couples 1-4 is created by a FaSiDa marriage (marriage 1).


Figure 1a: Conversion of Ordinary Genealogy to a P-graph

There is no loss of the specific individual level information in P-graph data formats or diagrams. The P-graph is simply another ˝- isomorphic ˝- representation of genealogical network relationships. The identity and attributes of individuals in the P-graph attach to the lines that represent individuals (connecting the nodes), and the attributes of marriages to the nodes.

The Graph Theoretic Foundation of P-graphs

Because a P-graph has a formal structure as a graph, it allows the use of well-known definitions, theorems and measures used in the mathematical field of graph theory (Harary 1969). The following graph theoretic definitions will help the reader to understand how these formal concepts and measures can be translated into well-defined social science and ethnographic constructs.

Graph, nodes, edges (GT Defn. 1). A graph G is a set V of n vertices or nodes and a set E of m edges each joining a pair of nodes u and v, said to be adjacent. Hence an edge of a graph G is a pair of adjacent nodes said to be incident to that edge.

Oriented graph, nodes, arcs (GT Defn. 2). An oriented graph O is a set V of n vertices or nodes and a set A of m arcs or directed lines each joining a node u to a node v, but not vice versa. Hence an arc uv of an oriented graph O is an ordered pair nodes in which u is adjacent to u, and v is adjacent from u, but not vice versa.

P-graphs have certain properties when analyzed as graphs with undirected edges (an approach that is useful in the study of structural endogamy and social cohesion) and another set of properties when studied as oriented graphs, which we will refer to, when necessary, as the o-graph of a kinship network.

O-graph (Definition). An o-graph is a P-graph in which adjacent nodes are ordered by generations, and arcs from children's to parents' nodes are always from lower to higher generations. An o-graph is a special case of a directed graph or digraph in which arcs may or may not be reciprocated.

The more detailed properties of kinship networks, such as how specific individuals are related, are naturally described by o-graphs.

Path (GT Defn. 3). An undirected (or directed) path of a graph G (or digraph O) is a succession of nodes in which each node is adjacent to the next, and no node is repeated twice. Recall that paths are composed of arcs in a digraph and of edges in a graph.

In discussing a P-graph as a graph, with undirected edges, there will be paths from ego to every one of ego's relatives: relatives by blood, by marriage, and distant or unrecognized relatives connected by multiple blood and marriage links. It is in this sense that we will trace paths of relinking, structural endogamy, and social cohesion defined by patterns of relinking. When specifically discussing an oriented graph, however, paths will contain oriented or directed arcs: following the arcs in an o-graph, for example, would lead only to a succession of ego's ancestors, and to no one else. Following arcs in the reverse direction would lead only to a succession of ego's descendants. Hence siblings and affines are among those kinship relations that involve a path that will contain adjacencies that run in different directions in the oriented graph of a kinship network.

Connected (GT Defn. 4). A graph is connected if there is a path between every pair of nodes.

Note again that in the o-graph ego is connected only to lineal relatives (ancestors and descendants) while in the P-graph more generally (as an undirected graph) ego is connected to everyone to whom there exists a path of kinship links through blood or marriage.

To explicate the connection between P-graphs (undirected) and structural endogamy, some other graph theoretic terms need introduction.

Cutnode (GT Defn. 5). A cutnode of a connected graph G is a node whose removal from G (removing the node and its edges) will disconnect the graph.

Subgraph (GT Defn. 6). A subgraph of a graph G is a subset of the nodes in G plus any of the edges that connect these nodes.

Maximal (GT Defn. 7). A characteristic or property is said to be maximal for some subset of elements in a set E if there is no larger set of elements that contains this subset that has this property.

These definitions along with the P-graph representation of a kinship and marriage network allow us to set up an equivalence between a P-graph (or one of its subgraphs) with structural endogamy and a maximal subgraph that contains no cutnode. In Figure 1a, for example, a circle has been drawn around nodes 1-4, which form a structurally endogamous unit that when considered as a subgraph S is a maximal subgraph of G (all nodes and edges in the figure) that contains no cutnode. It is left as an exercise to the reader to draw graphs that exemplify these and some of the following concepts (see Harary 1969).

Endnode (GT Defn. 8). An endnode of a graph G is a node that has a single edge. If the node incident to that edge is removed, the endnode becomes disconnected from G.

Cycle (GT Defn. 9). A cycle is a graph G in which for every two nodes u and v there are exactly two ("independent") paths from u to v, neither of which passes through the same node w, but one of which passes through at least one other node w. Hence a graph G contains a cycle if it has two nodes u and v such that there are at least two ("independent") paths from u to v that pass through none of the same nodes, and at least one of which passes through at least one other node w.

Tree (GT Defn. 10). A tree is graph G in which each of its nodes is either a cutnode or an endnode.

Some basic theorems follow. (1) A graph G that is not a tree contains a cycle. (2) The graph G that consists of a single cycle contains no endnodes and no cutnodes. (3) A graph G that contains no cutnodes or endnodes is made up entirely of cycles and if there are two or more such cycles in G each cycle must share at least one common edge, and hence, every pair of nodes u and v in G is contained in a cycle

Menger's Theorem for Bicomponents and Cutnodes. Menger (1927; see Harary 1969) proved that a maximal bicomponent of a graph G (where every pair of nodes is connected by two or more node-independent paths) is also a maximal subgraph that contains no cutnodes.

Working with these definitions, and derivative theorems, we see that a graph that contains no cutnodes (and hence no endnodes) has some rudimentary properties of cohesion: namely, that two or more independent paths connect every pair of nodes. Within a P-graph (or one of its subgraphs) with this characteristic, the more pairs of nodes that are connected by independent paths, the greater the cohesion. Using this framework, we are able to move from intuitive concepts such as "overlapping and multiple pathways," and the "circularity of relatedness" that this implies, to a precise framework for finding the boundaries of structural endogamy and measuring the density of relinking.

P-graphs, Structural Endogamy, and Appropriate Software

It follows that in a P-graph (or one of its subgraphs) that is structurally endogamous, every node is connected to every other node by two or more independent paths, which entails that every node (specifically: every marriage) is not only linked but relinked to every other.

Relinking and structural endogamy thus provide a distinctive definition of endogamy that is made operational within a graph-theoretic and P-graph representation. In a kinship network in which there is no relinking, the removal of a parental node will completely disconnect a child of that node from all its relatives. In a structurally endogamous group, the removal of a parental node may still leave a married child connected to all its relatives, either through a spouse or through children.

Index of relinking (Definition 5). The index of relinking of a kinship graph (White, Batagelj and Mrvar 1999) measures the extent to which marriages take place among descendents of a limited set of ancestors. A relinking index of 100%, given a common set of independent ancestors, indicates that every known link to ancestors of the structurally endogamous group ends with those of the common set. A structurally endogamous group defined by a single cycle of marital relinking (e.g., ten families married in a circle) is assigned a density of 0% to indicate that it is not cohesive if not reinforced by additional cycles (e.g., the same ten families but with three additional links between them). Structural endogamy may provide social cohesion to a kinship or ethnic group, social class, political stratum, occupational subgroup, and so forth. This may occur when the relinking index among members of a structurally endogamous group reaches a sufficient density (White and Harary 2000). A full comparative treatment remains to be made of the cohesive densities relevant to recognized kinship and marriage ties, but Houseman and White (1998b) began to do so for Amazonian societies with network-structure dual organization. For nomad clan genealogies the index of relinking is 75%, which is extremely high by world standards, and well above a level critical for the emergence of social cohesiveness in kinship and marriage networks.

Group boundaries may change in relation to particular families or social categories as a function of new relinkings in subsequent generations. In this sense, structural endogamy has a feature of self-organization that is lacking in the conventional concept of endogamy, defined in a categorical sense.

The advantage of the P-graph representation is that it will clearly differentiate the hypothetical case of a network with very little relinking from the structurally endogamous case where families are married in extended circles and marriages continually relink families. In the first case there will be few or no cycles in the P-graph of the community and what endogamy might exist is purely on the basis of attributes or social categories. In the second case the cycles in the P-graph will define the limits or boundaries of the endogamous community, and within the community the relative densities of relinking will further delineate a network structure of kinship that is partly a function of marriage alliances.

In circumstances where relinking is very infrequent, it is easiest to represent kinship relations by the conventional egocentric network diagram, in which individuals are nodes and kinship or marriage links are shown as links between individuals as nodes. If we choose to indicate parent/child, marriage, and sibling links on such a graph, cliques or clusters of links on this graph will usually correspond to nuclear families. All full siblings are connected to the same two parents and to each other, and the parents are connected by marriage. There are, of course, overlaps between these cliques in that any given person will belong to a family of birth, but may also belong to one or more families of marriage or procreation.

For computer aided genealogical graph or network drawing, then, we may choose between those formats where individuals are the nodes of the genealogical diagram and those ˝ such as the P-graph formats ˝ where families are the nodes. Pajek software (Batagelj and Mrvar 1997), which White uses herein for genealogical network analysis, reads data from standard genealogical software packages (Family Origin, BrotherÝs Keeper, Family Tree Maker, etc.) and can represent the kinship graphs in either individual-node or marriage-node (P-graph) formats. In fact, the standard genealogical format for GEDCOM files always includes both a P-graph format in which families are numbered as well as a format for individual records. Pajek programs using P-graph options are especially useful for drawing and analysis of large genealogical-network data sets.

In the Middle East, for example, there are often very dense marital relinkings among families, and entire villages or larger regions may be integrated by relinking. Kinship cannot be easily conceived in this case as genealogical trees where the branching of ancestors or descendants is forever distinct.

Where relinking is common, any given pair of relatives may have multiple paths of connection.

Because of the density of relinking marriages and their importance to the social organization of the Aydĭnlĭ nomads, this study illustrates the use of the P-graph formats for diagrammatic representation of kinship networks, some of which are also of specialized use in programs for kinship analysis (White and Jorion 1992, White and Skyhorse 1998). P-graphs (White 1997) are the most compact, sociologically and structurally informative representation for the analysis of marriages and their relinkings, including blood marriages.


Costs and Benefits of New Analytic Paradigms

Wherever investigators have systematically collected genealogical as well as other types of data, computer assisted analysis has advantages that cannot be obtained by manual computation from large genealogies. The following types of computation used in the P-graph or network analysis paradigms, for example, are not feasible for large data sets without the aid of computers:

  1. The analysis of consanguineal and affinal relinking marriages of all conceivable types and combinations, their frequencies, the frequencies of their various structural forms, and the distributions of their various overlaps.
  2. The transformation of these frequencies into percentages of marriages where the denominator is not the total number of marriages but the total number of relatives of a given type available for marriage. An example for consanguineal relinking is the number of motherÝs brotherÝs daughter marriages over the number of persons who have such relatives available for marriage. For a simple example applied to affinal relinking, we might take the number of sister exchanges over the number men who have a sisterÝs husbandÝs sister or reciprocally, women who have a brother, a brotherÝs wife, and whose brotherÝs wife has a brother who is available for marriage.
  3. The analysis of how these distributions appear at the level of the individual, either in the aggregate, or over the course of generations.
  4. The analysis of how these distributions appear at the level of the group or network, in terms of emergent groupings or clusters of relatives, and in terms of the structural position of individuals within such groupings, as they change over time.

Substantively, in the course of this study, we will derive a number of benefits from our methods of analysis. The analysis of preferences for different types of marriage will differ from analyses based on inferences from the raw frequencies or percentaged on the basis of the total number of marriages. There are major differences ˝ leading to different conclusions ˝ between the method of analysis used here and those in conventional use. The source of the discrepancy is that demographic constraints or changes are confounded with the expression of preferences in the raw frequencies of different types of marriages. In the case of the present study, an increasing proportion of siblings shifts over time to sedentary life as the size of the nomad group increases. Among those who stay, there is a greater diversity of types of relatives, and fewer absolute or selective rates of certain types, such as the FaBrDa, are available to marry.

These analytic and substantive benefits are obtained at a cost of several weeks of data entry to convert a genealogy on paper to a data file for computer analysis. An added benefit of doing so is the ability to systematize the ethnographer's data, such as those on lineage and tribal memberships, occupations, and pre- and post-marital residence and their tribal, village or urban geographic locales and to more precisely explore emergent patterns.

A second cost of such analyses is that of learning to use the newer analytic and graphic programs. The analytic benefits of using available methods for graphic and for network analysis include the ability, once the ethnographic data set is computerized so as to include genealogical links, to do the following:

  1. Regardless of size, the complete genealogy can be drawn on a series of pages that reference all the genealogical links. This method is used in the present book, in Figures 2-5, although only for the relinked marriages.
  2. The interchangeability of data formats among several dozen available software packages makes it possible to use a variety of these packages for genealogical analysis, genealogical drawings, network analysis, or network drawings. There is ready convertibility to standard formats for genealogical data such as GEDCOM (White, Batagelj and Mrvar 1999), and to formats for network analysis as in the UCINET (Borgatti, Everett and Freeman 1995) or Pajek packages (Batagelj and Mrvar 1997).

To reduce the learning cost of using the Pajek, PGraph and UCINET programs, White includes abbreviated descriptions of menu options for each program when he reports results using these options. He describes program menu options by a series of commands separated by slashes. The Pajek option to read a data file, for example, is /File/Network/Read, which corresponds to the labeled choices in series of pull-down menu options.

Software Availability

Many of the software packages for kinship or network analysis are documented on the internet (e.g., Pajek), or come with a printed manual if they are available by purchase (e.g., UCINET). Software and documentation reviewed or mentioned in this book are available in their most recent versions at the following URL addresses.

Pajek (Program for Large Networks Analysis by Vladimir Batagelj and Andrej Mrvar): at the University of Ljubljana. See for the manual. An introduction to drawing genealogies with Pajek is found at For a description of the program see or

SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics): at the Adobe web site. Pajek 0.57 Exports to SVG format. The SVG viewer for graphs and diagrams installs as a free plug-in for Netscape or Explorer Web browsers. The picture in SVG can be further edited using Jasc Trajectory Pro.

Ego2Cpl (part of the Pgraph package for Parentage Networks Analysis by Douglas R. White): at the University of California, Irvine. Documentation is available at links that begin at page An introduction to P-graph analysis is found at

UCINET (Networks analysis package for sale from Steven Borgatti): at Analytic Technologies.

Family Origins (commercial software for GEDCOM type files): at Parsons Technology in a demonstration version.

GIM (Genealogical Information Manager by D. Blaine Wasden and Brian C. Madsen, using GEDCOM format): For documentation on the GEDCOM standard by the LDS Church see

Kith and Kin (commercial software for P-graph style genealogies): at SpanSoft, available on a trial basis.

KineMage (a protein display and viewing language developed by David Richardson). For introductions see and articles by Linton C. Freeman and others at and as well as a dynamic sample page for kinship images at

Cosmo Player (web browser plug-in, featuring VRML displays): at Cosmo Software, Platinum Technology, Inc.

Chime (web browser plug-in featuring chemical structure displays): at MDL Information Systems.

Method: Preparation of the Data

To illustrate the benefits of computer analysis, given the relatively low costs of data entry needed to make the transition from field notes to computer files, we continue our introduction to genealogical analysis for anthropologists, concretely as well as abstractly, through the paradigm of our case study.

Johansen's nomad genealogy of 691 males and 601 females occupies a scroll some 12 meters long. A small amount of data collected in 1989 and 1995 were omitted, however, because some of the early data collected at that time was not so reliable as before, since many of the old patriarchies had died in the meantime. To prepare the data for network analysis, Johansen gave the individuals unique numbers, which are quoted in the following text in brackets behind personal names of the nomads. White entered these numbers into a text file along with those of the spouse(s), father, and mother of each person and their name, sex, generation, and nicknames. He also entered the lineage and tribal affiliations, place of origin or premarital residence and postmarital residence in terms of locale and nomad versus villager affiliations, and other attributes of each individual as designated in the genealogy or in narrative field notes. A detailed analysis and systematic transcription into network and attribute form, plus notes and narratives from the field notes, could further enrich the coded data.

The coding of data as shown in Table 1 can be divided into two parts: one, the minimal data needed to reconstruct the genealogy; and two, more extensive data on the characteristics of individuals and couples. Hence we can divide the key to the coding into two parts:

I. Minimal data needed to reconstruct the genealogies

Col. Legend

2-6 Number of ego

8 M=male, F=female

9-12 Spouse

14-17 Father

19-22 Mother

II. Extensible data on the individuals

Col. Legend

7 d = died before ethnographer knew them

23 a - h = Generation of individual as estimated by ethnographer

a born after 1785 ˝ up to 1815

b born after 1815 ˝ up to 1845

c born after 1845 ˝ up to 1875

d born after 1875 ˝ up to 1905

e born after 1905 ˝ up to 1935

f born after 1935 ˝ up to 1965

g born after 1965 ˝

24 premarital residence (origin)

S = settled/sedentary

R = sedentary, but ancestors were Aydĭnlĭ

N = nomad clan of the Aydĭnlĭ

n = other tribe

K = Kurdish origin

H = shepherd from settled village

= unknown

25 postmarital residence

S = settled in village or town

R = settled in village where their ancestors came from

N = nomad clan of the Aydĭnlĭ

n = other tribe

26-27 Lineage number (#1-10) within the clan; tribal letter [A-J]

28 Name and notes (occupation, places of origin or destination)

Coding Key to Table 1: Minimal and Extensible Data


The only data essential for the genealogy, based on the assignment of unique numbers to individuals, are the number of ego, of spouse, father, and mother, plus the coding of sex of ego. All the basic analytic programs for genealogical and network analysis depend only on these codes, but other elements can be used as labels or loaded into attribute files for the nodes in the genealogical network to accompany the network data itself.

Further data on individuals are extensible according to the needs or desires of the ethnographer. Generation can either be calculated from the genealogical data, provided by the ethnographer, and/or specified in terms of birth dates, marriage dates, and death dates. In the present case, actual dates were lacking and could only be approximated by approximate generational birth-ranges. Our data on premarital residence (usually: place of origin), residence after marriage, and tribal origin were taken from notes written on the genealogical scroll. Lineage memberships were computed from the assumption of patrilineal descent and were checked against ethnographic notes. While we have not made use of it here, the relative birth order of sons is usually indicated by the numerical order of their ID numbers as assigned in Johansen's genealogical scroll, which listed children by birth order.

Using these conventions for coding the data, Table 1 shows a sample of the individual records for the genealogical dataset. The data in Table 1 give a transcription into the computer dataset of persons numbered 1 to 4 to show how Johansen's diagrammatic genealogy was documented in a conventional form for anthropologists. In columns 1-6 is the number of the individual, a 'd' in col. 7 indicates someone who died before Johansen's fieldwork, and col. 8 codes ego's sex. An ego number for each of ego's spouses is given in cols. 9-12 (with extra lines for multiple spouses), and fatherÝs and motherÝs numbers are given in 14-17 and 19-22. Col. 23 gives ego's generation, and cols. 24 and 25 give ego's premarital and postmarital residence (S=settled village and N=nomad clan are among the codes). Numbers #1-10 in columns 26-27 gives lineage origin whereas letters A to I code origin in another tribe. Starting in col. 28 are name and additional ethnographic notes (e.g., name of place of origin, occupation).

Ego Dead Sex Mate Fa Mo Gen Res #Lin Name and Notes

Cols. or [Tribe

1-6 7 8 9-12 14-17 19-22 23 24 25 26-7 28-

1 d M 2 1381 b N #1 Ecevit Mehmet

1 d M 3 1381 b S N #1 Ecevit Mehmet

2 d F 1 b S N Zeynep (Ilmasit köy)

3 d F 1 b S N Salili

4 d F 154 1 3 c N #3 Ayse

100 d M 1335 1401 e H N Kel Ahmet (from a village,

earlier a shepherd of Hacĭ Molla)

1335 F 100 e n N [G:Horzum) Gullu

1350 F 64 e n S [H:Tekeli) Tulay (Saimbeyli town)

1381 M 0 1927 0 a #1 Ismail (g.1780-1810)

Table 1: Individual Record Format of the Genealogical Data

Foundations for a Network Theory of Kinship

Axiom 1 states that there is a language of behavior that can be read and understood with certain new forms of network analysis when combined with an ethnographic understanding of indigenous knowledge systems: "Preferences and social rules can be inferred from actual choices made in a network context; i.e., from knowledge of the network background of possible choices as a system of constraints." We now develop this axiom to expand the foundations for an actor-oriented network theory of kinship. Key concepts will be marked in bold.

Axiom 3: The Axiom of Choice. Observed behavior has two components, viewed simplistically: one that is the result of constraints (and which can be decomposed further into opportunities or existing possibilities, and internal or social pressures to seek alternatives within an opportunity set), and the other that is the result of preference or avoidance of choices among a set of alternatives. Thus:

Behavior = (Preference or Avoidance by) Choice - (Under) Constraint

Example. Marriage and sexuality exhibit preferences (such as marriage with a particular kind of relative or sex with a particular type of person) and avoidances (such as incest taboos or prohibitions against certain kinds of marriage, such as with close or distant cousins).

Axiom 4: Baselines of Measurement. For particular kinds of marriage in a population and time period, we can compare the raw frequency of an observed behavior (say marriage with FaBrDa) to two baselines. The first baseline is the comparison with the number of available relatives of this kind for each ego. The second baseline is the comparison with random marriages under existing constraints (Definition 16 in a later section provides a simulation procedure for generating random marriages under existing demographic constraints).

The first baseline controls for a multitude of demographic constraints that affect the availability of a spouse in a certain category defined by kinship ties or kinship terminology. For example, 15% of the married men with a FaBrDa available for marriage might actually marry a FaBrDa. Such rates, however, contain no intrinsic ratios or cutoffs to indicate whether the choice is preferred or avoided (see below: The Principle of Demographic Bias, and Hammel's Principle). Rates of change in this percentage from one generation to another, or different rates in different societies, however, would be more meaningful than saying simply that certain percentage of men married a FaBrDa. If it is very rare to have cousins in the first place, both of these percentages rates may be low, but a preference for FaBrDa marriage may still be indicated. If the society in question had uniformly very low fertility and mortality, for example, then a low rate of FaBrDa marriage (by either method of measurement) may still reflect a preferential marriage (see below: The Principle of Demographic Bias).

The second baseline of comparing frequencies of actual marriages with frequencies of random marriages given the existing demographic constraints of a given society (such as gender distribution and sizes of sibling sets in each successive generation) is potentially capable to taking a whole ensemble of demographic constraints into account to determine whether an observed marriage frequency (say again: FaBrDa) indicates a preference, an avoidance, or a frequency that is expected from marginal constraints. A preference, of course, is indicated statistically by a significantly higher frequency than expected by marginal constraints and an avoidance by a significantly lower such frequency.

Axiom 5: Measures of Behavior. The three basic measures of behavior - raw frequency, frequency relative to availability, and compared to simulated random behavior - will not only differ amongst themselves but are useful, respectively, for the study of prevalence, selective rate and measures of choice (preferential choice or choice avoidance). Prevalence is the rate of occurrence per (100) person(s). Selective rate is the percentage of available possibilities utilized of a given type, such as how many men who have FaBrDa relatives actually marry them. It is sensitive to the contexts in which behavior occurs, and filters our extraneous demographic factors that differentially affect raw occurrence. Choice is measured as the comparison to random marriage under existing demographic constraints, showing preferences as significant excess and avoidances as significant shortfall in frequency of actual behavior. Prevalence creates conditions, contexts or structures that affect others in the population. Choice is the means by which individuals or groups selectively and voluntarily influence behavioral outcomes. Selective rate is a descriptive measure that accurately describes statistical norms for a behavior as opposed to preferential (or avoidance) norms. Table 2 summarizes the measures and their uses.

Type of Measure

Unit of Measure

Method of Measurement

Used for the study of

1 Prevalence

rate/100 persons


Consequences for Population Demography

2 Selective


percent/100 avail.


Comparisons and Change in Statistical Norms

3 Choice

excess or deficit/random

Compared to Simulated

Preferences/Avoidances that Influence Behavioral Outcomes

4 Relative


percent/set of alternatives

e.g., FaBrDa over all cousins

Cousin Marriages Compared without Appropriate Controls

Table 2: Measures of Behavior.

A fourth measure, that of relative rate, is also listed in Table 2 but is not recommended although it is in common use. It is not recommended because of the possibility that relative rates may be strongly affected by demographic biases. Relative rates of a certain kind of cousin marriages relative to all cousin marriages, for example, are likely to suffer from such biases.

The Principle of Demographic Bias. Demography alters the opportunity space that affects choice in fundamental ways. As a function of migration, reproduction, and survivorship, for example, smaller age cohorts enjoy relative advantages in competition for resources, while larger cohorts augment competition. Cohort size has been shown to have major effects on a host of socioeconomic variables (Easterlin 1987). Similarly, the sizes of sibling sets in successive generations has major effects on the types of relatives available for marriage. Contrary to what is often taken for granted, a low prevalence or selective rate of marriage, say with FaBrDa, might be associated with preferential choice if sibling size is small, while a high prevalence or selective rate might be associated with preferential avoidance if sibling size is large.

Hammel's Principle of Status Bias. Hammel (1976) and others have shown through simulations that inequality of age or status at marriage markedly decreases the likelihood that FaSiDa cousins will be of an appropriate age to take as a spouse and thereby increases the relative likelihood of marriage with MoBrDa cousins, other things being equal. Thus relative rates of cousin marriages are unreliable as an indicator of marriage preferences.

Hammel's principle can be illustrated by a geometric P-graph emphasizing status or age differences. Figure 1b redraws two versions of the example of a cross-cousin marriage in Figure 1a, once for a FaSiDa marriage (the exact replica of 1a on the right) and once for a MoBrDa marriage. The drawing of MoBrDa marriage on the left includes a status bar in which average status or age of males and females is indicated. The four lines labeled a to d in each P-graph are those that connect the marriage between cousins to their common ancestor. The vertical height of each of these lines (as measured by an implicit status bar) is the measure of the status s(m) of males or the status s(f) of females. For example, s(m)=45 and s(f)=15 might represent markedly unequal average ages of marriage of males and females, respectively, in a gerontocratic society where older men monopolize younger women through polygynous marriages. Tjon Sie Fat (1985) analyzes the effects of such age disparities on marriage rules, and White and Jorion (1992) review the utility of P-graphs for the analysis of marriage systems with different age or status skewing between husband and wife.

Hammel defines status or age difference between males and females at marriage as a quantitative variable, d = |s(m)-s(f)|. Assuming that these differences are roughly constant over generations, Hammel's rule for consanguineal marriages is that the sums of status or age measures in the husband's lines (a, c) to the common ancestor must on average equal the sum of status or age measures on the wife's lines (b, d) to the common ancestor, s(a) + s(c) = s(b) + s(d). This applies to cousin marriages in general, where each edge a - d is either an f (female) or an m (male), and contrastive types of cousin marriage differ in which of the lines a to d are male and which are female. For MoBrDa marriage this represents no particular constraint, since this equality is satisfied for any values of s(f) and s(m) by the fact that in every case s(f) + s(m) = s(m) + s(f). MoBrDa marriage can accommodate any extreme of status difference between husband and wife. For FaSiDa marriage however, the requirement that s(f) + s(f) = s(m) + s(m) requires that the age or status of husband and wife at marriage are equal. This model, however, applies only to average differences.


formula for averages: s(a) + s(c) = s(b) + s(d)

MoBrDa marriage constraint FaSiDa marriage constraint

(age or status differences allowed) (entails no age or status differences)

Figure 1b: Hammel's Principle as it applies to Cross-Cousin Marriages


By simulating variations around the average of status or age differences for husbands and wives, Hammel (1976) shows that the greater the average status differences between husband and wife, the more likely MoBrDa will be of the right age for marriage as opposed to FaSiDa cousins. Hammel's principle applies as well to any relinking relationship in terms of the symmetries or asymmetries in distribution of male and female links on the husband's and wife's side in connecting to common ancestors.

Systematic status differences between give-givers and wife-takers (which are absent for the Turkish nomads) thus have the following implications: the greater the difference (in either direction), the more likely is MoBrDa marriage compared to FaSiDa marriage under the assumption of 'random choice' from the set of potential status mates.


Theories of Alliance and Avoidance

Clarification of the units of measurement of behavior makes unification possible of two approaches that characterize kinship or marriage systems when taken as models of and for behavior: the study of rule-governed preferences (Lévi-Strauss 1949), and the study of rule-governed avoidances (Barry 2000). Table 3 summarizes some relevant dimensions of Lévi-Strauss's classification of marriage systems. Elementary systems avoid key relatives in contrast to prescribing marriage with other categories of close relatives such as the MoBrDa or FaSiDa (with different implications for affinal alliances or exchange). Complex systems prohibit close relatives and lack definitive prescriptive rules but have statistical tendencies such as, for example, homogamy or relinking. Marriage systems are semi-complex, according to Lévi-Strauss, if a multiplicity of special rules about avoidance of many different stacks of relatives acts "as if" there were prescriptions for marriage with certain classes of distant relatives.






"Key" relatives

Certain close relatives

MoBrDa, FaSiDa


"Stacks" of relatives

"as if" preferences

Crow-Omaha systems


All "close" relatives

Homogamy and relinking

Class systems

Table 3: Classification of Lévi-Straussian Models for Marriage Systems.

Laurent Barry (2000) proposes a unique reinterpretation of intra-lineage endogamy and differing rates of parallel cousin (patrilineal and matrilineal) marriage that is relevant to studies of Arabic or Near Eastern Societies. His approach suggests a number of ways, discussed in Ch. 5, to examine cousin marriages among the Aydĭnlĭ, which might be characterized as a variant of an 'Arab' marriage pattern that includes FaBrDa marriage.

Rather than starting from positive rules of marriage, as does Lévi-Strauss in formulating his theory of elementary types of marriage alliance and exchange, Barry begins with marriage prohibitions. In doing so he hopes to avoid the controversies concerning descent groups versus marriage alliance that have colored the discussion of what is commonly known as the 'Arab' system of marriages, a descriptor for preferential endogamy within the agnatic line or patrilineal parallel cousin marriage. Barry's argument is that, in many societies with residential and descent-group emphasis on the agnatic line, the prevalence of an 'Arab' marriage pattern is not so much a preference for patrilineal parallel cousin marriage as it is an emphasis on avoiding marriage with the uterine line. In his view, the uterine line is as important, if not moreso, in establishing social identities of common 'blood' or other substances. For Barry, as opposed to vertical extensions (filiation) of kinship through descent, there are additional prohibitions based on lateral extensions of social or gender identities. Barry identifies four logical principles of prohibition:

1) prohibitions on the uterine line

2) prohibitions on the agnatic line

3) prohibitions on both uterine and agnatic lines (parallel cousins), with cross-cousin marriages allowed

4) prohibitions on both the parallel- and cross-cousins

In Barry's view cases 1 and 2 are asymmetric in that the privileging of female identity is never exclusive of a complementary male principle, but not the contrary (male descent group exogamy does not usually entail a complementary uterine principle). Hence while case 1 (uterine exogamy) allows a male-based preference for 'Arab' marriage, case 2 (agnatic exogamy) seems to imply an invariable exclusivity of a male descent-group identity principle that does not allow an opposing female-based preference for matrilineal parallel cousin marriage. Case 3 can give rise to elementary types of marriage alliance, and case 4 to "complex" marriage rules. In Table 4 we order Barry's principles consonant with those of Lévi-Strauss.



Can give rise to


Case 1: uterine exogamy

allows 'Arab' marriage



Case 2: agnatic exogamy




Case 3: uterine and agnatic lines

cross-cousin marriages allowed

Elementary Systems (if prescriptive)

MoBrDa, FaSiDa

Case 4: broad prohibitions


Semi-Complex or Complex Systems


Table 4: Ordering principles of Barry relative to Lévi-Strauss

What is striking about Barry's theory is its conformity with variation in marriage practices across a wide range of well studied agnatic societies that allow 'Arab' marriage. The majority of these cases also turn out not to be Arabic societies. He reviews data on the frequency of cousin marriages among 7 groups of Fulani (peule), 3 Arab societies of Nigeria and Chad, several groups of Sudanese, 2 Southern African groups, and the Merina of Madagascar, Arab and Christian groups in Lebanon, and Pakistani Arabs. Plotting the relative frequencies of FaBrDa versus the other three types of cousin marriages (his Graphique 1, pp. 94-95), he finds no correlation between FaBrDa and either of the cross-cousin marriages, but a strong negative correlation (r=-.87) between FaBrDa and MoSiDa, the two parallel cousin marriages.

Barry's argument, given the very strong negative correlation between FaBrDa and MoSiDa marriage frequencies in agnatic societies, is that higher rates of FaBrDa marriage result from stronger prohibitions against MoSiDa and uterine-line marriage, which includes for example marriage with MoMoSiDaDa.

As a historical note, Barry's case 2 (prohibitions on marriage within the agnatic line) applies to the patrilineal exogamy of Central Asian nomads such as the Mongol Turks (Krader 1963:343ff), for whom marriages were a form of alliance used for politics (Johansen 1999:156ff). The fact that women were not secluded meant that they could be viewed and compared for strategic qualities such as being intelligent or energetic. Lineage exogamy among these groups lasted through the 19th century. The Turkish language concept of inherited properties through the male yasun ("bone" as opposed to female nurturance or "flesh") did not entail a complementary uterine identity principle of inherited properties. This is consistent with Barry's argument. The lack of a uterine identity principle of inherited properties carries over to Aydĭnlĭ and Turkish nomad groups that derived from Central Asian nomad stock, but later adopted Islam. The grafting of Islam, however, with its principles of female seclusion and de-emphasis on lineage exogamy, created the conditions that favored the FaBrDa as a "favored" cousin who was both present within the patrilocal extended family and who was available for marriage. Female seclusion, or the restriction of women's interaction primarily to those of their patrilocal groups, as among the Turkish nomads, also made it more difficult to "compare" potential brides in terms of personality traits, since they could often be known by only reputation and not by observation. Hence the Aydĭnlĭ, unlike the Central Asian nomads, do not fit Barry's case 2 (agnatic exogamy) but neither do they fit his case 3 which he posits as an explanation for FaBrDa marriage. The dimensions of Barry's model of marriage and incest prohibitions, however, are useful for raising questions of general theoretical interest in examining specific cases such as the Aydĭnlĭ.

Social Structure, Social Organization, Social Choice and Historical Change

The importance of understanding social organization and its dynamics as well as its implication for social structures that may constrain subsequent trajectories of behavior cannot be doubted. Among many possible references, Cernea (1996) and North (1994), for example, argue that the study of social organization is fundamental to understanding economic development and constraints on development.

By its multiple foci on individuals, their relations, and emergent groups, the network approach has the potential to unify various strands of methodological individualism (social choice), descent theory (corporate or cohesive groups), alliance theory (exchange principles) and normative rules (including avoidances as well as preferences). These diverse approaches have often been characterized by differences in theoretical approaches to social structure and social organization. Structure and organization are a key pair of contrasting terms that have been defined in differing ways. Social structure is sometimes taken to be the "rules of the game" (a normative view) of social life, and at other times in a more institutional and behavioral view as the "social groups and relations" that are relatively invariant over time (the supposed priority of temporally invariant aspects of social structure that sets up a priviledging of corporate groups over individuals is where descent theory gets into trouble). Social organization, as defined variously by Raymond Firth (1981) and Meyer Fortes (1949) for example, refers by way of contrast to the outcome of more flexible choices.

Barth (1965) and others have articulated how the behavioral outcomes of social choice under changing conditions (environmental, demographic, incentives and resource systems, constraints) alter perceptions of what is behaviorally normative, and, in turn, how new social norms emerge as preferences. The following schematic reflects some of the contrasts as well as potentials for integration of theoretical concepts involving structure versus organization in relation to choice and constraint:

Social Structure Social Organization Social Structure

plus and plus opportunities for

Social Choice Historical Change Social Choice

The great advantage of the network approach is that the ambiguity in the use of the terms structure and organization is eliminated in comparison to the traditional formulation in which "structure" is an ambiguous mix of juridical rules, statistical norms, and recurrent social roles. In the latter formulation the term is then used metaphorically as if it were a descriptor for constraints on social choice and on the "structure" of opportunities, seen as "defined" by existing structure. The supposed temporal invariance of this usage of the concept of structure leads to all kinds of theoretical quandries that are difficult to sort out. In the network approach, however, we can begin to sort out the effects of various kinds of constraints on social choice - demographic, relational, knowledge systems - and we can see social organization as emergent from choices as they affect networks of relations. The potential for understanding the emergence of new social forms and institutions is all the more palpable. In the network approach view, the possibilities for emergent restructuration makes of "structure" a set of measurable, dynamic variables, as is evident from the attention paid in network theory to formal measurement (Wasserman and Faust 1994, and throughout the present book).

Unification and Social Dynamics: Social Behavior and Emergent Norms

The study of social networks provides a vehicle for understanding the concept of path dependence introduced by Brian Arthur (1994) to describe runaway feedback systems (e.g., increasing returns, network externalities) in complex systems. The concept of path dependence is developed for historical and institutional economics by Douglass North (1994), among others. The network approach is especially helpful, however, in reintroducing what is lacking in North's and Lévi-Strauss's framework: the problematic of the emergence of norms.

Axiom 6: Networks and Path Dependence. Social network analysis helps to identify specific configurations of relations among people and resources differentiated according to positions, roles, and configurations and continually reconfigured by social choices in the context of distribution and access to resources (incentives and constraints) and the influence of larger historical events. Sometimes these reconfigurations occur dramatically, when certain thresholds of network densities and feedback processes are surpassed.

Axiom 7: Networks and Emergent Norms. Social network analysis helps to identify how changing configurations of relations among people and resources can reconfigure perceptions and social constructions about what is preferentially or prescriptively regarded as normative.

Why should ethnographers, historians, demographers and the like go to the trouble of augmenting their case studies within a framework that embeds relational data within a social networks conceptual framework and that allows for an analysis of network dynamics and changes in network structure? We can respond in two ways to this question. One is that we challenge the idea that taking this step is intrinsically difficult in requiring whole new forms of data collection. Along this line, we hope to show that case studies typically involve the collection of data that are intrinsically relational, and, like genealogical data, are quite easily unpacked into forms suitable for network analysis. Further, we hope to accomplish by example a demonstration that there are suitable and feasible forms of large-scale network analysis for case study data.

The second line of response to the question of the relevance of network analysis to case study materials is in terms of theoretical contributions, in line with the possibilities for broader theoretical integration of diverse approaches outlined above, and with the axioms we have stated above.

Many readers may feel uneasy that we embrace both a behavioral approach -- i.e., the relevance of studying social behavior to the study of social structure and organization rather that approach the subject through the study of changing social norms per se -- and the normative approach epitomized by the French structuralists, who are often accused of taking a purely idealist approach to social structure.

As an example of this unease, the astute reader will have noted that in introducing Lévi-Stauss's approach, we used the concept of "marriage prescriptions" as rule systems that are operative at the normative level, but are understood by the French structuralists as an idealized model of what are necessarily messy behavioral regularities, since behaviors operate under empirical constraints. Yet French structuralists argue that prescriptive norms impose themselves as Durkheimian "social facts" involving models and sanctions for behavior, and argue for a conception of stripping away behavioral irregularities caused by external contingencies in arriving at the social facts that truly govern behavior. This is a principled, even if not a satisfactory way of stating what was obvious to Lévi-Strauss (1949) in the study of kinship, namely that that the problem of studying or understanding patterns in behavior was simply too complex, and that faced with such complexity, people necessarily revert, whether they are observers or members of a society, to summary models "of" and "for" behavior. We hope to show that the network approach invalidates the necessity for an assumption even while it does not invalidate some of the structuralist models themselves.

Both the French-deductivist tradition and the Anglo-empiricist tradition of studying behavior lack a suitable and definitive means for testing the fit between theories and data. What we attempt to provide in this book is a vocabulary and methodology for separating the effects of constraints on behavior, for comparing behavioral choices in the context of changing opportunities, and for determining when the norms that are articulated by members or observers of a social group are simply "descriptive" of statistical tendencies and constraints and when they are also, or by way of contrast, a matter of "preference" (see Table 2). The study of preference or prescriptive norms requires that constraints on behavior are taken into account (Hammel's principle, for example, is ignored in French social anthropology). It is only when anthropology and sociology have developed methodologies that are sensitive to the concerns of both the behavioral and normative traditions that we will be in a position to achieve a higher level of theoretical integration in the social sciences. We are not arguing for one school or another, "taking sides" as it were, but for the integration of the insights from the various disciplinary and subdisciplinary traditions.

Antecedents and Contributions of the Perspectives Taken in this Book

Many of the themes developed here are echoed or presaged by Schweizer (1996), who provides for the German-speaking community a history and critique of ethnology and a presentation of the advantages of the network approach. He shows the benefits of a dynamical network approach by way of well chosen examples, without entering as we do here into the theory of graphs as it underlies the network approach. He illustrates, for example, by means of successive graphs of relations amongst actors involved in positions of power, the evolution of social hierarchy and positions of power in a Chinese village after the Maoist Revolution. In a second example, he reexamines the emergence of social hierarchy in ritual exchange by means of network analysis the case of the !Kung, whose egalitarian ideology contrasts with hierarchy at the level of exchange.

The approach taken in this book goes well beyond Wasserman and Faust's (1994) presentation of currently standard types of network analysis in the social sciences. It adopts the kinds of ethnographically and graph-theoretic perspectives pursued by Hage and Harary (1983, 1991, 1996), in which graph theory is put to use to define and formalize new concepts that are directly relevant to ethnology. White's presentation of new software and computational possibilities for the analysis of large-scale networks also goes beyond the confines of the smaller ethnographic vignettes of Hage and Harary that are necessitated by relying on manual rather than computer-driven analysis. The further elements of graph theory developed here (such as concepts of relinking, structural endogamy, cohesion, etc.) are those thought to be directly useful for studying dynamic phenomena in social organization and the emergence of well-structured forms of cohesion applicable to social groups and institutions.

Our book will be successful if it helps to orient a new generation of ethnographers, if only in part, to change the nature of ethnographic practices in systematizing, analyzing and reporting their data, given the availability of analytic concepts and computer software for network analysis of the relational data that are necessarily collected in their case studies.

Further Readings

The first two readings are fundamental, along with the downloadable software for Pajek and Pgraph that is freely available on the web, to understand and use the operational methodology of network analysis in the context of kinship and genealogical databases. The second also countermands the view that the study of kinship has been rendered moot by post-modern critiques. The third source is particularly concerned with evaluating marriage preferences or avoidances (and the general topic of marriage norms and specialized rules) by providing a means for comparing actual to simulated 'random' marriage behavior.

White, Douglas R., Vladimir Batagelj and Andrej Mrvar. 1999. "Analyzing Large Kinship and Marriage Networks with Pgraph and Pajek," Social Science Computer Review 17(3):245-274. See: Pajek (Program for Large Networks Analysis by Vladimir Batagelj and Andrej Mrvar) at at the University of Ljubljana. An introduction to drawing genealogies with Pajek is found at For a description of the program see or

White, Douglas R., and Paul Jorion. 1992. Representing and analyzing kinship: A Network Approach. Current Anthropology 33:454-462.

White, Douglas R. 1999. Elementary Simulation of Marriage Systems, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 3(2). [refereed web journal]

Ch. 7: Conclusions

The first part of the conclusions concern the deepening of the ethnographic results and the second part the evaluation of the methodological and theoretical approach of network analysis. Far from being intractable, as posited by Lévi-Strauss, the data on social networks as an analytical object for the study of actual choices in marriage behavior, and of the resultant forms of emergent social organization, have given us keys to understanding a whole set of social processes among the Aydĭnlĭ nomads.

Our goal here is not to present a full ethnography based on years of fieldwork with the Aydĭnlĭ nomad clan but to present sufficient ethnographic data to place in an ethnographic context what we learn from a genealogical network analysis, and to evaluate what we have learned. Placed in a dynamical framework for analysis, this includes ethnogenesis, transformation and dissolution as social processes, emergent or changing norms in relation to behavior, and the identification of various levels of cohesive social groupings that provide a principled theoretical approach to understanding political, factional and cohesive processes in a societies in which social relations are highly mediated by multiple kinship ties. It is this very multiplicity that provides a conceptual foundation for the study of social cohesion through the formal definitions of marital relinking, structural endogamy, and changes in bicomponent structure over tiome.

The nomad clan is a particularly relevant case for this analysis because kinship underlies many of the facets of its social and political organization. Figures 2-5, introduced in Chapter 3, build on our identification of the clan founders from a detailed computer-drawn genealogy that locates all the relinking marriages in the clan by their lineage. Those figures are annotated to show links through the wives to other lineages. The genealogies corroborate what older informants had said about the early histories of the clan, as also confirmed by independent historical sources. Our argument that the relinking marriages knit together the entire nomad clan as an alliance network is supported by evidence in subsequent chapters, as have Hypothesis 6, Hypothesis 13, Hypothesis 16 and Hypothesis 18 that central positions within the clan are established by the strength of their position within the relinking network.

One of the fundamental advantages of a computerized social analysis of genealogical data is that the structure of the entire genealogical network can be examined both in toto and in its respective parts. One of the uses of the genealogy is to locate the leading known-persons whose influential personalities provided informal leadership to the clan during succeeding generations. All these men, it turns out, have relinking marriages and so could be located on the reduced genealogy of relinking marriages (Figures 2-5).

Ethnogenesis of the Clan

In tracing the process of clan amalgamation we can see the principles of adaptive radiation of nomadic tribes, the fusion, differentiation, and manipulation of tribal identities, the segmentation of lineages and their amalgamation into clans, the attachment to villages or return again to nomadic life.

If this Turkish case is a typical instance of the concept of an endogamous clan ˝ technically called a deme (Murdock 1967:48), or "communities revealing a marked tendency toward local endogamy but not segmented into [exogamous] barrios" ˝ then the concept of clan as putative descent group is somewhat misleading. The nomad clan is as much based upon affinity ˝ or, to be precise, structural endogamy or marital relinking ˝ as upon putative descent. Putative descent, here as elsewhere, is often the normative expression for structural endogamy as registered in local discourse. Hence, the anthropological concept for this type of clan has embraced under an emic rubric of "from a single root" or putative ancestor, a definition that may have local salience but is not a defining characteristic without also taking marital relinking into account.

What we have seen for the Aydĭnlĭ nomads, with structural endogamy in the context of a nonsegmented clan, is that dense intermarriage creates in subsequent generations an increasingly greater density of common ancestry or ancestries (Hypothesis 1). If the clan is an entity with a single leadership or corporate existence, as we have seen, the genealogical morphology is likely to take a conical form, with one or a very few densely intermarried ancestors as its discursive "single root" (see Figure 27). Further, the lack of prohibitions on the marriage of relatives implies uncertainty as to whether intermarried couples, such as intermarried root ancestors, share common ancestors. Hence, common ancestry is easily and naturally imputed to the conical clan or deme. In this context, the endogamous clan or deme indicates, at the emic level, an inclination to marry blood relatives: a rule of affinity as well as putative descent.

In the present case, there is no literal single founder of the clan, but the clan cohesion created by Koca Mustan (716) in generation 3 of lineage #2 gives the clan its ancestral unification. Examining the genealogical data on the number of current descendants left by each founder (Analysis 4) yielded Mustan as a close approximation to a "single root" of the clan. Hence informantsŰ statements of a single root of the clan, when distinguished from the concept of a single founder, are essentially correct. Mustan played the role of a relinking broker in establishing clan cohesiveness. His ability to create marital relinking through his childrenÝs cohort (along with their allies in lineages #1 and #3) provided the coalescence of the clan as it migrated and amalgamated in its new pastures to the east. By so doing, Mustan and his wife became an ancestral root for a great majority of the clan. Their respective parents are two of the identified founders (#2, #3), and their daughters link through their marriages to lineages #1 (98, the founder son of Hacĭ Dolaşĭklĭ, 28), #3 (1169), #5 (343, grandson of Karahacĭlĭ founder Koca bey), #7 (1230), and #1 (630 ˝ a grandson of the founder). Mustan's lineage became the largest and the only one that intermarried with each of the other main lineages in the clan. The decisive alliance and relinking of lineages #1-#2-#3-#5-#6 takes place among the children of Mustan's children's generation and the next (adding lineage #4). Among the types of marital relinking occurring in this epoch of clan consolidation, the exchange of sisters and recurrent wife-giving from one lineage to another were key to the consolidation of clan cohesion and subsequent ancestral 'rootedness.'

Clan Cohesion and Maintenance

Computer analysis of the properties of genealogical networks can help to identify the boundaries of cohesive groups in a society, and to measure the degree and structure of cohesion in various subgroups. The frequency of marriage ties among lineages is one aspect of subgroup structure that generates overall cohesion.

Clan cohesion involves a continual balancing of processes of segmentation and amalgamation. This is illustrated by the accounts of a segment of lineage #1 leaving the clan, continual fissioning of families as couples or individuals leave for settled village life or marry into another nomad tribe, and the tendency for some of the lineage to dwindle in size or die out. Analysis 5 shows a further segmentary principle, that in the competition for leadership between the larger lineages, there was a slight tendency to reinforce claims to leadership and perhaps to heighten lineage ranking by not giving daughters to other lineages and by greater-than-chance endogamy within the larger lineages (Hypothesis 2). Analysis 8 (Table 11) shows that the frequency of relinking by leaders and their offspring is much greater than expected by chance. This is compensated on the integrative side, however, by near-random distribution of marriage between the larger lineages, and by the tendency of smaller lineages to ally more frequently with larger lineages within which they become in a sense amalgamated. Further, analysis of intermarriage among relinked tribes [Figure 10] shows something of a larger structurally endogamous network (Hypothesis 4). The marriage of women into the clan from other tribes, including more socially distant tribes not relinked by marriage [Analysis 7], provided a source of recirculating personnel familiar with nomadic lifeways. The clan amalgamated members not only of, or perhaps to, one dominant tribal identity, but also occasional members of outside tribes. The formative links among clan members, prior to the eastward migration, incorporated a series of new lineages through (or perhaps just continued existing patterns of) marital relinking (Figure 10).

In our evaluation of BarthÝs hypothesis [Analysis 9], both fissive and integrative elements are seen to operate at the level of competitive leadership: FaBrDa marriage reinforces close family support but keeps the core kinship support group tight (Figure 11). The need for highly capable leadership under nomadism serves to stress competition and personal characteristics. Wider network recognition ˝ as well as core factional support ˝ is broadly integrative, but without a coercive basis of social control. This can also lead to factionalism and feuding (sometimes with struggles between tanĭdĭk kişi as their focus), which a good Haci (older and pious pilgrims to Mecca) or at other times an established tanĭdĭk kişi as a peacemaker can help to mediate through lengthy negotiations in which everyone involved gets an opportunity to express their frustrations. The analysis shows that while FaBrDa or patrilateral parallel cousin marriage declines in prevalence over generations, its selective percentage with available relatives in this category does not decline (Hypothesis 9ab). This is one of the most significant differences of our computer analysis from the conventional forms of frequency analysis of cousin marriages. For the period 1875-1965, the period with adequate statistical data, the percentage of FaBr daughters who are taken in marriage actually rises from 25-28% in the earlier period to 30-33% in the later. The drop in absolute numbers, then, is because there is a greater proportion of persons resettling in villages, and perhaps smaller families and sibship sizes (Principle of Demographic Bias). This drop is compensated for by a marked rise in the percentage rates of patrilateral parallel second cousins, which are also lineage mates. The much higher (Table 13) numbers of male linking relatives in consanguineal marriages also supports the pattern of favored marriages within the paternal line.


Tribal labels, while recognized, have less political significance in the 20th century than they did up through the 19th. Political positions then ceased to be recognized by the Turkish after World War II (Ch. 2). Clan and lineage, however, have continued as important organizational principles though only in nomad lifeways. Still common is the preference for FaBrDa marriage by young men as well as their fathers, who still tend to arrange marriages. In addition to expressed norms, however, our study has emphasized social practices in marriage choices.

From the decline in prevalence of FaBrDa marriages, one would conclude that the agnatic lineage is in decline. We consider it a mistake, however, to take changes in the prevalence of FaBrDa marriage as an index of the viability of a lineage system in a near-Eastern society. Having a computer-based method of analysis makes available a more precise analysis of behavioral choices in marriage, i.e., by selective baseline analysis of available relatives of different types, the numbers of which will change under different demographic regimes. There are several advantages of this type of measurement the rates of different types of blood marriages and affinal relinkings. Declines in prevalence of FaBrDa marriage in the late 20th century may result from the artifact of fewer co-resident fatherÝs brothers' sons and daughters, whether from increased migration or smaller family size.

Nomads are adapting to changing demography and outmigration pressure, partly as a result of population growth in Turkey generally and within the clan itself.

The selective percentage rate used in our computer analysis of marriage choices has a great advantage in that it controls for the significant demographic factors confounding the raw frequency or prevalence rates of marriage choices. Since the selective percentage rates of FaBrDa marriages do not decline (normed on the number of FaBrDa relatives available for marriage), it follows that the strength of the preference for FaBrDa marriage may not have declined either. From our results one would not infer that the traditional lineage system was in decline (Hypothesis 9b).

Indeed, as if to compensate for the loss in absolute numbers of available FaBrDa relatives, the selective rate of marriage with patrilateral second cousins has risen in the last two generations (Table 12). Far from demise, the nomad clan repopulates sedentary villages with its offspring as the core population grows for its given region, but it has managed to keep a relatively stable population in the ecological niche to which nomadism is adapted, and to keep its social institutions viable.

One of the fundamental elements of the continued viability of nomadic clan lifeways is that almost all of its members (except the very poorest) are able to have many children and bring them to maturity given the quality of their diet -- with many dairy products, including yogurt in summer and cheese in winter, considerable protein, the collection of plants, mushrooms, peppermint for teas, and the easy availability of soya, grapes and raisins by purchase. The considerable walking (but not overwork) that women do is good for averting stillbirths during pregnancy and keeping mothers healthy. There are few miscarriages and relatively little difference in the survival of babies among different families, all being born in tents and generally receiving two years of maternal care and milk before the next child is born. Women bear children between 16 and 36, and 10 children per woman are not atypical, 8 being considered normal.

There are quantitative indications, however, of changes in clan and lineage organization. As evidenced in the comparison of choices influencing the rate of cousin marriages, the marriage system is changing towards one that is more complex and less oriented to agnatic lineage principles (Hypothesis 21). A shift from an agnatic lineage-based pattern of cohesion supporting political leadership (Hypothesis 28) is also underway in the latest political period (post-1985: Table 39). There is also evidence for a possible breakup in clan cohesion (Hypothesis 27b, Table 38), although further fieldwork would be required to see if patterns of future relinking reestablish a cohesive core of the clan or continue to allow further segmentation (Figure 32 and Figure 33) to occur in the cohesion structure. The evidence on structural changes in both leadership patterns and social cohesion point to changes that begin in the 1980s. This corresponds to the period of leadership under Mustafa (597 "Dede", lineage #4) when the basis of political support has also been seen to change. "Dede" was shown to lack membership in a cohesive giant bicomponent but instead only within one of two factionalized bicomponents (see Figure 8). There is a triangulation of results on our inferences about social change in the basis of leadership support in that "Dede" also lacked a basis of wider support throughout the clan through the distributed cohesion of his lineage (Analysis 19). The 1980s was also the period in which feuding ended, suggesting again social structural changes from quasi-corporate factional groupings, such as lineages, to the personal basis of leadership support that we saw in Dede's leadership (Hypothesis 31). "Dede" was a transitional figure, and was also highly respected by the outside world, called by sedentary population of the neighborhood also by a special term, "patron." He was at the same time mayor of the village at the summer pasture, head of a tranport union in the town of Kozan, and an owner of a citrus tree plantation.

Norms and Behavior

Computer analysis is capable of making a precise evaluation of the relation between norms and social behavior in marriage choices. Informants, for example, reported that spouses are generally chosen of the same age. Although age data are lacking, Analysis 10 examined the statistical tendencies towards or away from consanguineal marriage of the same generation, and found strong evidence of generational symmetry (Table 14 and 12) commensurate with the stated norms and those of the Qur'an (Hypothesis 10).

A more general conclusion lies at the base of our FaBrDa example, however, as regards norms and behavior: namely, that conventional analyses of marriage preferences are inadequate without properly normed percentage data for observed marriage choices (Hypotheis 9.b). Given demographic constraints on relatives available for marriage, inferences from frequencies alone as to marriage preferences of rules are likely to be invalid, and the test of Hypothesis 19.b found low common variance between prevalence and selective rates for different types of marriage across a range of socities. In this light, the entire field of analysis of marriage systems may benefit from reanalysis with newer methodologies.

The analysis of different types of marriage, marital relinking, and exchange marriages can be based, as in the present case, on rates or comparisons that do control many of the confounding demographic variables that make solid conclusions from such analyses so difficult. Hence this book may provide a more fundamental theoretical reorientation as to how we norm behaviors in a statistical sense before comparing them with verbal norms. Since marriage systems have been at the center of a great deal of work in anthropology, how we measure behavioral orientations makes a great difference to our results.

As an example of this fundamental change in orientation, we may contrast our approach with that of Barth (1953). His model of the processes that linked the resource base in nomadic societies to egalitarian leadership at the level of small, tight kin groups such as the lineage, conceived of feuding as the expression of political power, and local leadership as based on support through kinship alliance, including FaBrDa marriage. We extended his argument to another level in our study of the Turkish nomadic clan (see Figure 23) to show that higher order clan endogamy and relinking marriages are the basis for informal leadership, factionalism and mediation in feuding. Barth, who was only a short time in the field for his study, could not have perceived the complexity of network structure above the level of the local group.

Structural Endogamy

Using the concept of structural endogamy, the large˝scale social boundaries of self-reproducing group can be identified by means of computer analysis. Structural endogamy is the empirical phenomenon in which the intermarriages of an arbitrarily large set of individuals ˝ arranged in couples ˝ form a set of marriage cycles that are self-enfolding. Every couple is connected to every other by one or more circles of kinship and marriage relationships. The index of relinking (Definition 5) used to evaluate these overlapping circles is an index of the social redundancies by which members of a community cohere through multiple paths of connectedness. The maximal boundary encompassing those couples included within these overlapping circles is the region in which endogamy is extended within the social group, a boundary that is self-defining or emergent through marriage behavior.

What we have demonstrated at a societal level, commensurate with the nomad clan, is that the cohesive integration at the societal level is based on marital relinking. We have shown empirical support (Analysis 6) for structural Hypothesis 3 that clan membership is based on relinking. Those couples who stay with the clan are relinked through marriage, while those who are not relinked are those who tend to decide for settled life (Hypothesis 3 and Table 9, r=.95). Those who are not relinked are vulnerable to exclusion from the social life of the group, lacking a spouse with access to and knowledge of nomadic lifeways, and in consequence are typically not taken into consideration in invitations to weddings, funerals, etc. What is striking about the concept of relinking is that large scale but definitively bounded social groups may be formed that lack a unifying descent principle but are linked through affinity.

Thus, a principal argument for our use of P-graphs and computer analysis of marital relinking has been that the relinking marriages knit together the entire nomad clan as an alliance network. Not only are central positions within the clan established by relinking, but the emergence the clan itself, and the varying cohesion of its subgroups is a function of the cohesion provided by marital relinking (see Figure 23). This theory works particularly well for the egalitarian nomad clan, where intensive cooperation is required at multiple levels, but cohesiveness is poised in opposition against continual segmentary and factional tendencies since there is no centrally binding authority to mediate disputes.

Network analysis and the study of relinking as a dynamical basis of cohesion is potentially better fit to seize on such social groups and their shifting social boundaries than are conventional structural models. Every marriage that creates a new relinking creates a locally cohesive subgroup. This can be either in terms of a consanguineal marriage, in which relinking adds a new connection between relatives who already have a common ancestor, or a relinking affinal marriage. The latter adds a new connection between already affinally-connected relatives (see Figure 7).

Subgroup Analysis

One of the most fascinating set of findings of the computer analysis results from applying new concepts about social cohesion (White and Harary 2000) to subgroups within the structurally endogamous boundaries of the clan. Analysis 11 gave the following findings:

A static image of clan structure in terms of cohesion and leadership is shown in Figure 35. The concentric circles represent levels of cohesion, and the letters represent leadership positions (not in any particular historical order, but see Figure 14). They center around the highest cohesive core but also differentiate into opposing factions each of which tries to span through multiple independent connections the whole reach of the clan.











Figure 35: Clan structure of Cohesion and Leadership

The conical structure of cohesion within the clan in Figure 35 does not correspond to successive generations or growth of numbers but, as shown in Figure 14, variations in levels of cohesion at successive historical periods.

There is of course an automatic tendency for ancestors with many children who remain to marry and reproduce within the group, as in any society, to acquire higher cohesiveness. But this tendency is not uniform from generation to generation. Those who reproduce members of the group become sources of greater cohesion only if their descendants intermarry.

Leadership and the Political System

A more dynamic account of how nomad politics operates would shift the focus from the static model such as shown in Figure 35 to a moving image. Through successive generations emergent loci of leadership slowly rotate around the clan center as different segments of the clan are articulated to the center. Figure 36 attempts to capture a more dynamic view. Given a clan with a relatively stable center, each successive leadership faction after the settlement in eastern pastures ca. 1875 is focused on a different lineage, but also links both to the center of the clan, and reaches out to other subgroups. Rotating around a central axis of clan cohesion, shifts of leadership over time sweep through different segments or factions of the clan to augment overall political connectivity of each successive lineage group (and their closer allies) to both the clan center and to its peripheries. The operation of this political system is dependent upon multiple connectivity as the basis of a form of social cohesion that is distributed throughout the clan, linking most clan members both to the current but changing leadership, and to the relatively more permanent central social figures of the clan. In this figure the triangular wedge represents the lineage or faction of the current leader, which may include links to central clan figures by lineage brothers or sisters. A larger political faction of the leader is shown in the figure as the off-center oval that contains lineage members plus close allies. The arrows represent high inclusive multiple connectivity out of the larger leadership faction into other sectors of the clan. The sweeping arrow represents change of leadership from sector to sector and lineage to lineage, over successive generations.















Figure 36: Dynamics in terms of Cohesion and Leadership

There are, of course, two tendencies as concern leadership. A tanĭdĭk kişi tries to keep leadership in his extended family, but competing lineages try to support the striving of another able man to become tanĭdĭk kişi as soon as the current incumbent shows inability or weakness. Hypothesis 5, Hypothesis 6, Hypothesis 13, Hypothesis 15, Hypothesis 16 and Hypothesis 28 all speak to different aspects of these two entwined processes within this general model. The special role of multiple connectivity in distributed but interpenetrating cohesive groups is identified in Hypothesis 7, Hypothesis 12 and Hypothesis 14. Social rank, both of leaders and lineages, is established by the same means (Hypothesis 5 and Hypothesis 8).

The theory advanced here (see Hypothesis 11) is that multiple connectivity is essential to large-scale social cohesion, which can include the basis for social formations not only of kinship groups and clans, but as Brudner and White (1997) have noted, of social class as well. Where the multiple connectivities of a social group extend into central political positions, this theory can also give an account of the association of political power in relation to cohesive social groups with boundaries delimited by the limits of multiple connectivity. In the present case, political positions are themselves emergent out of the cohesiveness structure along with rules of turn taking between social segments.

Network centrality (variables for flow, betweenness, and closeness) within the structurally endogamous core also predicts tanĭdĭk kişi leadership (Hypothesis 18) as does simple node degree: that which capacitates maxflow adhesion (Definition 11).

Measure of Relinking Density

When the quantity of marriage circles reaches its maximum of 100% within a social group, as measured by the index of relinking (Definition 5), the group is endogamous in the canonical sense of a caste: everyone marries within the group. When the relinking density is less than 100% there are still clear-cut boundaries of the largest structurally endogamous unit of a society, but the group may be open to a greater or lesser extent to marriages with outsiders.

In the case of the nomad clan, the index of relinking within the largest structurally endogamous unit is 75%, which is extremely high in comparison with other studies in stateless societies (see, for example, Houseman and White 1998b). The largest structurally endogamous unit spans all of the lineages of the clan, and includes all the ancestors and significant descendants who have contributed to the social reproduction of the clan. By this measure, the nomad clan is enormously cohesive. Further, we have found that when we take out the more peripheral couples of the structurally endogamous unit ˝ those with the bare nodal degree of 2 necessary to have multiple paths of connectivity ˝ the index of endogamy falls to 57%. This is still high but does not imply that remaining 43% will be married or linked to outsiders, since some of these links are with peripheral couples.

Identification of Emergent Forms

Some of the principles of nomad social organization that are now evident relate to our discussion of the polysemy of terms such as kabile (clan, lineage, sometimes tribe (= aşiret)) and aile (wife, also used for families). The "sliding terms" of kabile and aile are not a result of a weaker sense of logical definitions among the Aydĭnlĭ in comparison to scientific logic, as Johansen might have thought before undertaking this network analysis, but are seen instead as precise terms for emergent phenomena that themselves have sliding boundaries.

The network basis for the formation of shifting kabile and aile groupings involves principles that apply from the extended family up to the tribal level (Hypothesis 4, Hypothesis 25). Flexible principles of marital relinkings provide a means for asserting group membership at the highest level through structural endogamy, at middle levels through connectivity sets, and at lower level through consanguineal, intra-lineage and two-family relinking marriages.

To reiterate some examples of these patterns, we found structural endogamy at the intertribal level (Hypothesis 4) and at the level of the clan, and relinking as the basis for cohesive subgroup formation at many different levels. Our examination of Hypothesis 25, using the concept of structural equivalence to find similarly linked groupings of couples, identified three axes of differentiation of allied lineages (first sketched in our analysis of Hypotheses 2). Having discussed some examples of these principle of emergent cohesive groupings at higher and middle levels or social organization, the formation of cohesive units at the lower level remains to be discussed.

Consanguineal and Intra-lineage Marriages as Cohesive Relinking

The analysis of consanguineal marriages and historical change (Analysis 12), as we have seen, builds on a unique feature of kinship analysis by computer. The latter gives the possibility of analyzing the occurrence of different kinds of marriage not only in terms of prevalence but their selective rate (i.e., compared to the maximal possible number of such marriages) given the demographic structure of the population. Prevalence or raw frequencies are a poor guide to changing patterns and preferences (Hypothesis 19.b). While there are only 16 MoBrDa marriages, for example, among the 414 recorded nomad marriages (a relative rate of 4% of all marriages), the selective rate of MoBrDa marriages is 16% (Table 26: i.e., among men who have a recorded MoBrDa available for marriage). Thus MoBrDa is much more often selected as a mate than would appear from the raw frequency.

MoBrDa marriage is one of several types of cousin marriages that Lévi-Strauss (1949) made into objects of study by examining their consequences for social integration. MoBrDa marriage is a generator of "generalized" exchange or open-ended cycles of marriage. Hammel's (1976) principle for the antecedents of differential frequencies of cousin marriages establishes that inequalities of age or status characteristics at marriage favor a significantly greater number of MoBrDa cousins of an appropriate age for marriage than other cousins, such as FaSiDa.

Among Aydĭnlĭ, MoBrDa selective rates of marriage declined in the most recent generation to zero frequency. This cannot be explained by Hammel's principle, since other things being equal this would predict equal rates for all four types of cousin marriages. It might be explained, commensurate with our other findings about changes in social organization in recent decades (Hypothesis 27a,b), as part of the general shift towards a more complex marriage system that provides a more diffuse basis of generalized exchange (Hypothesis 21; see also Hypothesis 29).

The method of calculating selective rates of marriage is also important because it corrects for gaps in the genealogical data due to memory loss, bias, and missing data. There is much more extensive memory data for males in the early generations, for example, than for females (see Table 3). To illustrate this point, Figure 37 and Figure 38 show the male and female lineages, respectively, for the 253 marriages in the structurally endogamous core of the clan. (The making of these graphs uses the Pajek options /Net/Transform/Remove/lines with value/lower than [2] or /higher than [1], where the values 1 or 2 are those usually assigned to male or female lines, respectively.)

Figure 37: Male Lineages among the 253 Structurally Endogamous Marriages (Number of arcs: 234) (A color coded version of this figure is found at http://www.santafe/edu/TurkishNomads/Figure37.htm)




Figure 38: Female Lineages among the 253 Structurally Endogamous Marriages (Number of arcs: 187)

(A color coded version of this figure is found at http://www.santafe/edu/TurkishNomads/Figure38.htm)


In relation to group boundaries and cohesive subgroups, the point is that each consanguineal marriage reinforces a specific social boundary within the kinship network. Since regions of higher cohesion may emerge within the network, each kind of consanguineal marriage helps, in proportion to its prevalence, to create certain systematic types of cohesive groups within the society. The idea here is closely related to Axiom 4, from whence we recall that prevalence is important in evaluating the consequences of marriage choices, while selective rates are useful in comparisons across time and between societies and measures of choice the most relevant to determining preferences (Hypothesis 19.b).

One way that reinforcement of kinship cohesion occurs within the clan is through marriage with blood relatives. The way in which this occurs, however, (Hypothesis 19.a and Hypothesis 22), is through preferences for marriage with closer rather than more distant relatives, ones who are also of the same generation (Hypothesis 10). Thus, the emphasis is on extended family relinkings. With multiple types of marriage to relatives connected through females as well as males, the effect of both to densify relinkings within moderate sized subsets of nodes but also, through overlap, to create broader relinking and cohesion in a distributed fashion throughout the clan (Hypothesis 2, Hypothesis 3, Hypothesis 15, Hypothesis 22, Hypothesis 24).

FaBrDa marriage, for example, reinforces lineage cohesion, as do 2nd, 3rd or more distant cousin patrilateral parallel marriages (but see Hypothesis 22). While its prevalence fell dramatically in this century (Table 12), its selective rate rose from about 25% in the late 19th century to 30-33% in the 20th, and that of FaFaBrSoDa marriage rose to 50%. Hence what would seem by crude rates to be a custom in decline is discovered to be highly resilient in terms of selective rates into the contemporary era. The declining prevalence of FaBrDa marriage is linked to smaller sibling sets via outmigration. Measures of choice in comparison to random marriages also show FaBrDa to be highly preferential (Table 32). Although the decline in prevalence of FaBrDa marriage is accompanited by an absolute and selective rise in FaFaBrSoDa marriage (a greater dependence of intralineage marriage ties on more distant kinship connections), measures of choice in comparison to random marriages do not show FaFaBrSoDa or FaFaFaBrSoSoDa to be preferential (Hypothesis 22).

Matrilateral parallel (1st, 2nd, 3rd) cousin marriages (Table 27), while lower in selective rate than its patrilateral counterpart, might be seen to reinforce cohesion within the uterine line, except, as we have seen, there is no concept of uterine line, only that of women's nurturance within the mother/child bond. According to Barry (2000), the absence or diminution of such marriages might indicate higher identification with a female principle in which inheritance of a substantive identify leads to avoidance of marriage, except that here is no concept of inheritance of the female contribution ("flesh" or nurturance) among the Aydĭnlĭ. Given the lack of a concept of a female "line" of identity, Barry's argument would not explain why the selective rates of MoSiDa and MoMoSiDaDa marriages both rise together (Table 27), but Johansen's argument about changes in visiting with female relatives that accompany sedentization (Hypothesis 20) would provide an explanation. Johansen's argument does not explain, however, why there would be statistical evidence for MoSiDa as a preferential marriage (Table 32; the small numbers for MoMoSiDaDa pointing in the direction of marriage preference are mute on this question because of lack of statistical significance). Hypothesis 19.a would provide the answer: presented with the opportunity to interact with relatives (as argued in Johansen's Hypothesis 20), the preference is for marriage with closer relatives rather than distant ones. Presumably, this is because the prospective couple has a better chance to know more about one another's character and personality the closer the relationship.

The bulk of our evidence points to contemporary consanguineal marriages playing a greater role in reinforcing extended family cohesion. As lineages are thinned by outmigration, the general tendency is not towards lineage principles per se but towards greater complexity in marriage choices (Hypothesis 21). While parallel cousin marriages, that reinforce patrilineage principles, are increasing in terms of selective rates and preferential choice in the most recent generation, they are decreasing in prevalence, and a comparison with simulation results confirms that cousin marriage preferences are not generalized through lineage principles or 2nd or 3rd cousins (Hypothesis 22), but rather are restricted to first cousins.

Among first cousin marriages, since only MoBrDa marriage has declined up to the present, and FaSiDa (associated by Hammel's principle with same-age marriages and direct exchange between lineages in successive generations) has been stable within this century (Table 28), the sum total of evidence about marriage exchanges and relinking via cousin marriages points to a trend to reinforce shallow patrilineally extended families and shallow matrilines by parallel cousin marriage. The trend is also, to a lesser extent, to reinforce increased avoidance and generalized or indirect cycles of exchange of women among lineages (as Barry (2000) has argued: towards greater complexity in the marriage system). This operates in favor of more direct or pairwise relinking between different families or lineages.

Two-Family Relinking Marriages

Analysis 14 reinforces the finding of the importance of two-family relinkings, not necessarily between lineages, but between families. Between lineages, we see a high raw frequency of exchanges of females related to the avoidance of bride price by the exchange of women between lineages, and the strengthening of social ties between lineages. More generally, we also see a ranking of relinkings as follows (Table 33 and Figure 24): (1) the most frequent type is where two sisters marry two brothers, (2) next comes sister exchange, and third, (3) the marriage of two related females to related males, where the common ancestors are of two different generations. The marriage of two related females to related males, comes in two further varieties of relinking, (4) the next more common where pairs of cousins marry in the grandchild generation and (5) where a pair of cousins marry a pair of siblings. The preference is for closer over distant relinkings, and for same generation relinking ancestors over those of different generation. Relinked marriages exhibit a very strong same-generation bias, that is, where the husband's and wife's generations are reckoned as equal relative to the relinking ancestors (Table 34). Male links are moderately favored over female links in absolute numbers (Table 35), but there remains the possibility that this is due to the memory bias favoring the reporting of males in earlier generations. We call type (3) an "affinally arranged marriage" because the marriage of junior relatives is likely to be arranged by the couple whose marriage connected the families in the prior generation.

Relinkings often occur in the context of prior consanguinity. Senior linking relatives often arrange relinking marriages among those already related by consanguinity, i.e., their and their siblingsÝ descendants. Of the relinkings analyzed within two-generation time spans, over 50% are within the same patrilineage, and over 30% are within the same matriline. Over 75% are between persons already blood related. Of the 167 relinking marriages that occur within two generations, 97 or 58% and 55% have grandfathers or grandmothers, respectively, who were same-sex siblings. An additional 13% have grandparents who were brother and sister. Hence these marriages are largely endogamous within a kinship group or family, and are only secondarily two-family relinkings.

Relinking of Two Families and Historical Change

Analysis 15 shows some changes in relinking patterns over time for the generations [c] through [g], on which we have the better historical data, those born after 1845 and thus who reached adulthood after the migration eastward.

The distinguishing contrast between the five types of relinking that are stable through time and the eight whose selective rates decrease through time is that stable types, and only one of the decreasing types, are of the sort where the ancestors are of the same generation but the descendants are of adjacent generations. This situation is shown in Figure 24c. This structure, which corresponds to our second most prevalent type, we have thought to be indicative of affinally arranged marriages: a couple linking families A and B in one generation arranges among marriage between A and B in the next generation. Recalling that the first most prevalent type has a low rate, it is highly significant that these types are stable. The types of relinking whose selective rates decrease over time are those where there is not a consistent alignment of ancestors, as in Figure 24e, and these often involve two or three cross-relatives. They might be termed "irregular" marriages.

The types of relinking that are increasing, between generations d and f, if only slightly, are those with a preponderance of male links, suggesting exchange of women between patrilineages. This adds some evidence for hypothesis 9 that the patrilineal principle in marriage is not diminishing in importance. Sister exchange is such an exchange marriage, and involves neutralization of bride price, but is rarely bewteen lineages. In nearly all cases ˝ including a classificatory type that resembles sister exchange ˝ they are consanguineous, between parallel cousins in the same patriline, and hence likely to be arranged by senior patrilineal relatives. Sister exchanges show a mixture of the historical pattern of the affinally arranged and the irregular marriages: its selective rate first decreases from generation c to d and then increases to generation f.

Graphic Approaches

Certain of our graphic images, such as Figures 27 and 28 (patrilines and matrilines, respectively) are partial views of the nomad clan genealogy, reorganized so as to bring out only certain aspects of the network structure.

More generally, the ability to use computerized genealogical data to draw accurate, well-organized, and informatively labeled genealogies, as in Figures 2-5, is of obvious use to ethnography in the presentation of data. It is also a means of visualization to provide both the ethnographer and the reader with a source of intuitions and insights about social structure. We have used the genealogies themselves, elicited from informants, to form a skeleton from which to give a detailed historical narration of the nomad clanÝs formation, growth, and change up to the present. Nowadays, when a majority of those born into the clan turn to village life as adults, there remains a structurally endogamous core who continue to adapt the nomadic way of life to new challenges.

In our chapter 5, on Graphic Approaches, we used a scaling technique ˝ that of spring embedding or minimum energy configuration (Definition 7) ˝ to show something of the overall structure of the clan. Figure 27 showed a 3-dimensional graphic of the entire nomad genealogy in which the conical structure of the clan is made visual. Within it we can see both the fusion of the descendants of separate founding ancestors through intermarriage, and the dense relinkings that occur within the core of the clan.

Magnifying the relinked core of the nomad clan, Figure 28 showed a 3-D graphic of the relinking marriages among nomad kin. The density of the core, as we have seen, reaches the incredibly high index of relinking of 75%. Among the more striking images of this book, these figures may help the reader to grasp how the clan is organized as a conical structure. To understand the density of the nomad clan genealogies generally, we also examined (Hypothesis 26) cases where a given kinship link from an ego did not subsequently branch out to reach multiple alters but continued along a single path of successively more weakly or distantly linked relatives. What we found is that there are no paths of this sort (homeomorphic segments) greater than length 2 (length 2: node u links to v links to w with no branching at v) that we could consider stable, that is, other than ones involving a newly married couple.

Focusing on the data in Figure 28 for the maritally relinked core of the clan, the computer analyses of cohesion (Table 16 through 20 and Figure 13 through 20) led to results that could be diagramed more abstractly in Figure 36. The figure shows clan structure in terms of hierarchical levels of cohesion, favoring the higher cohesion of couples whose marriage links back to highly cohesive ancestors, and whose grown children have married so as to also become core members of the clan. These cohesive subsets give rise to positions of leadership, and a certain degree of competition between overlapping but opposing broad segments of the clan. Here, leaders compete from relatively distant positions for overall cohesive backing of relatives distributed throughout the conical structure of the clan.

Our ability to bring out a distributed structure of cohesive subsets within the clan, from which leaders draw their support, is something new in the sociology of small groups and subgroup cohesion. It is dependent on the computerÝs ability to compute multiple independent paths of connection as well as to scale their structure, which turns out to be hierarchical. These results are very different than the identification of subgroups based on cliques as clusters of persons densely linked by direct ties. The salient feature of the nomad cohesive subgroups is that they are based on indirect ties, and they bring together through the multiplicity of independent paths people who may be quite distantly connected, dispersed throughout the nomad network.

General Methodological Conclusions

This concluding chapter has provided a summary of our findings, and has evaluated the degree to which the computer analysis become more precise in getting a picture of social structure as compared to usual fieldwork. The ethnographical background is not summarized since the choice of facts is already limited to a minimum necessary to illustrate the introduction into the methods explained here. A further monograph based on the fieldwork would add several hundred pages (see Johansen 1965, 1994, 1995; Johansen and White 2001). Instead, in a relatively short compass, we have tried to use computer methods to visualize data and test hypotheses, to explain the methods for others to use, and to demonstrate their advantages. The advantages include the precision of the statistical and structural analysis, and of the usefulness of graph theoretical analysis and visualization of more abstract properties of social structure. As such, they can serve as a formal basis for the comparison of ethnographic cases. The methods used gave rise to hypotheses and results many of which would be virtually impossible either to formulate or to evaluation by standard approaches (Hypothesis 30). Because our approach is new, based on graph theoretic concepts implemented for analysis via computer programs, the formal concepts used in the analysis have been explicated, and details given as to how to use the Pajek programs for large-network analysis that will allow the researcher to move through a variety of analyses of social network structure and dynamics.

As a guide to anthropologists, historians, demographers, or political scientists who would like to assess the network context of social behaviors and social cohesion in longitudinal perspective, White has provided guidelines for the use of the computer programs.

The fundamental contribution of the network approach to ethnography taken in this book is in surmounting the separation between synchronic or structural and diachronic or historical study (cf. the introduction to Schweizer and White 1998). Basically, we have looked at network-embedded behaviors that form the basis of social structure as to whether they change over time or they remain constant. We are able to control for the changing demographic contexts of marriage behaviors and the social cohesion created by structural endogamy on a large scale and cohesive subgroups on a smaller scale. By doing so we are able to identify the existence of preferences, avoidances, and social rules regarding marriage behaviors, and the specific historical turning points at which rules or social structures change. Since we can study the emergence of cohesive social subgroups within the larger network, we can examine how leadership emerges out of different aspects of social cohesion. White has shown how to use multiple networks methods and measures for assessing convergent evidence for hypotheses about social structure and change.

The rational choice framework is also closely related to our approach. The network approach allows an analysis of individual roles, biographies, activities and social choices as to cooperative, competitive and self-interested behaviors. We have seen how social choices and roles such as those of Mustan and early founders contributed to the cooperative establishment of a network of cohesive families that was critical to the ethnogenesis of the clan. We have shown the costs (in social and economic support) and the benefits of marital choices such as whether or not to choose a spouse who relinks with others in the clan, and how such choices correlate with decisions to stay or leave the nomadic lifeway (Hypothesis 3 and Hypothesis 17). We have shown how specific kinds of marital relinkings contribute to the formation or reinforcement of cohesion in larger or smaller social groupings, and in the recent period how the increasing frequency of emigration and consequent reduction in the size of sibling sets has created potential problems of the shrinkages of lineages and fragmentation of social cohesion. As outlined by Schweizer and White 1998, the integration of a rational choice and actor-oriented perspective has been one of the goals of the network approach to ethnography. Building on the base of network analysis, a great deal of further work can be done in this direction.

The measurement basis for many of the hypothesis in this book derives from the fundamental Axioms 1 and 3 that define the theoretical approach of this book. Based on our findings concerning this working hypothesis and its derivatives, we think it is amply demonstrated that the language of behavior can be read and understood with certain new forms of network analysis when combined with an ethnographic understanding of indigenous knowledge systems (Axiom 1 - Axiom 5). It is from actual choices or behaviors, especially as compared with the network background of possible choices as a system of constraints, that preferences and social rules can be inferred and cultural systems can be more accurately understood.

Beyond the particular results of this case study, which have been well worth the effort, we have provided the student of social structure with a new vocabulary for analysis that is well grounded and well equipped for deployment in other case studies (well beyond the mere collection of genealogical data using program such as, say Family Tree Maker), and in comparisons between case studies that might enlarge a new theoretical foundation for the network and dynamical study of social organization. We hope that this detailed example will stimulate others to give a deeper analysis of the societies or social groups that they study. Equally, we would be thankful if others have suggestions for deepening our analysis. For this reason, throughout the book and in the appendix, we have detailed where on the internet to find the data on which our analysis is based, and where to find the analytic programs that we have used.


Further Readings

The April/September year 2000 special issue of l'Homme (154-155) on the theme of "Questions of Kinship (Parenté)" contains several extensive reviews of the approach taken in this book. Collard (2000:638,640,646,651) reviews and identifies the work of White and Jorion (1992), Houseman and White (1998a, 1998b; including contributions to the volume by Godelier, Trautmann and Tjon Sie Fat 1998), and Schweizer and White (1998) -- using the P-graph approach -- as one of the main contributions to la theorie de la pratique approach to kinship today. Jamard (2000:735-736) devotes a long exposition to the methodological and theoretical importance of this approach:

"Methods and techniques [of kinship analysis] have strong implications on the theoretical side. For that reason, their use pertains to the reexamination of kinship nomenclatures. [In the Godelier et al., edited volume, 1998] One article vigorously distinguishes itself in the domain of precise procedures. In contrast with Tjon Sie Fat, who presents a meticulous algebraic treatment of purely terminological kinship, Michael Houseman and Douglas R. White, using a variety of computer tools, collaborate to show the emergent properties of a network of marriages that are effective through their dynamic aspect in the pratique -- behavioral practices -- of matrimonial alliances, where they find observed regularities that are not a simple effect of a terminological logic and rules of marriage. These constitute, at the level of practice, a sort of primary behavioral regularity [encodage], of a complex order. This is precisely demonstrated in that the two researchers, in the course of their analysis, are able to detect a structure of sidedness [structure à coté], or bipartite network where a pair of supersets of marriages, connected by agnatic and uterine decent links, operate so as to organize network configurations of marriage alliances across a range of societies in lowland Amazonia. The authors succeed in creating an empirical sociology of high quality that takes the first steps towards a conceptual and theoretical advance towards a sort of grounded theory (Glaser and Strauss 1967) based on facts established methodologically through carefully controlled working hypotheses [and precise analytic definitions] (translation from the French).

Augustin (2000a), in the same volume, reviews the network approaches taken in Schweizer and White (eds. 1998):

"The two editors recall that the objective pursued by network analysis is not simply to situate social action within a relational cadre but to envisage the processes of exchange operating beneath the flux of social phenomena, ones that put into play the resources available and the positions of actors in the processes of interaction.... It is however in the jointly written article of the two editors (White and Schweizer 1998) that the utility of the theory of graphs and its computer science applications is most evident. The great innovation of Douglas White is in effect to offer a veritable tool to ethnology: a computer program (or perhaps a family of programs) that makes visible, by simplification of the habitual genealogical diagrams (a couple being assimilated to a point or vertex -- in the theory of graphs -- and relations of filiation assimilated to lines or the arcs of directed graphs), the formal properties of a network. In this article, where the ethnographic base consists of data collected in Indonesia, the authors allow us to see how the actors, who share relations of filiation and of marriage alliance, are in fact embedded within differentiated structures where inheritance of land, ritual activities, and occupational specializations appear within a circulating flux of exchanges at the interior of the same network that, is a variety of ways, conditions them.

One of the most surprising chapters is without doubt that of Douglas White and Michael Houseman [Houseman and White 1998a] devoted to a study of Pul Eliya on the basis of the materials that Edmund Leach published in 1968. This remarkable work has, among other merits, that of reconstructing the quasi-totality of data of the ethnography for purposes of reexamination by means of the PGRAPH program. What is then revealed is that which Leach did not and could not see or comprehend without appropriate tools: that the marriages are in fact responsive to an immanent but barely visible logic that the authors call dividedness and more specifically, sidedness. The matrimonial network is bipartite, so that the marriages of parents and children partition in two distinct sets [roughly corresponding to continuity in the male line and discontinuity in the female line], but which have nothing to do with moieties. If the use of the computer tools demonstrates that "something" exists that confers a regularity to the marriages, however, this "something" -- the sidedness of the diagram -- is also difficult to translate into sociological or psychological terms [although it corresponds at the sociological level to the logic of the egocentered kinship terms used by Pul Eliyans] (translation from the French).

While the Pul Eliya and Amazonian analyses are concerned with a structural logic of dual organization entirely different from the structural themes of the present book, the extent to which the vocabulary of network analysis, adapted to the concerns of social structure, has entered the canon of social and structural anthropology in France. In the "Glossary of Kinship (Parenté)", Barry et al. 2000) devote entries to dividedness (p.724), sidedness (p.731), matrimonial network (p.730), and pratique matrimonial (p.729) as opposed to matrimonial norms. Hence, a network approach to kinship and matrimonial practices is firmly established within the French intellectual terrain of social anthropology, if not within the dominant paradigms of English-language paradigms (but see reviews of Schweizer and White (1998) by Dow (1999) and Gregory (2000)). Further, White's (1997) definition for "structural endogamy" has entered the canon in several recent publications (see Augustin 2000b: 594). As Augustin notes therein:

"One finds such clusters [of endogamy in bilateral society] in abundance in the majority of European societies in the form of matrimonial enfolding among a set of persons linked in a manner more or less distant.... [The] structural endogamy discussed by Douglas White [1997, Brudner and White (1997)] is the matrimonial concomitant of this same phenomenon (translation from the French).

It is this latter theme of structural endogamy, along with the concepts of structural (and regular) equivalence now so commonly used in network analysis (White and Reitz 1983), that is the focus of our study here of Turkish nomads.

Augustin, Georges. 2000a. (review) Thomas Schweizer and Douglas White, Kinship, Networks and Exchange. l'Homme 154-155: 783-786.

Augustin, Georges. 2000b. À quoi servent les terminologies de parenté? 'Homme 154-155: 573-598.

Barry, Laurent S., et al. 2000. Glossaire de la Parenté. l'Homme 154-155: 721-732.

Brudner, Lilyan A., and Douglas R. White. 1997. Class, property and structural endogamy: Visualizing networked histories. Theory and Society 26:161-208.

Collard, Chantal. 2000. "Kinship Studies" au tournant du siècle. l'Homme 154-155: 635-658.

Dow, Malcolm M. 1999. (review) Thomas Schweizer and Douglas White, Kinship, Networks and Exchange. American Anthropologist 101:692-693.

Glaser, Barney G., and Anselm L. Strauss. 1967. Grounded Theory: Strategies for Qualitative Research. Hawthorne: Aldine de Gruyter.

Godelier, Maurice, Thomas R. Trautmann and Franklin E. Tjon Sie Fat, eds. 1998. Transformations of Kinship. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.

Gregory, Christopher. 2000. (review) Thomas Schweizer and Douglas White, Kinship, Networks and Exchange. American Ethnologist 27:243-244.

Jamard, Jean-Luc. 2000. La passion de la parenté. l'Homme 154-155: 733-748.

White, Douglas R., and Karl Reitz. 1983 Graph and Semigroup Homomorphisms. Social Networks 5:193-234.