Kinship and Social Organization (60210)

Fall 1996 T,Th 12:30-1:50 Doug White SST 743 tel. 824-5893

Anthropology 121AW introduces a working knowledge -- concepts, theories and examples -- of how societies and institutions are constructed. Student writings hopefully will synthesize analytic approaches to case study materials (case study readings and personal knowledge) that define research questions and explore them critically using empirical evidence.


Week 1 Contested Terrain: Evolutionary Dynamics in the Division of Labor

Week 2 The System of Roles

Weeks 3-4 Social Reproduction: Family, Labor, Economy, Polity

Weeks 5-6 The Ethnographic Network

Weeks 7-8 The History of Networks, Class, Domestic Units, Ownership, Capital

Week 9-10 review, discussion, and student reports

Required: Available at Bookstore

Required: Xeroxed Chapters; also on reserve

Reserve (including optional supplementary readings):

Notes on the readings: Leach's book, intended as the principal text, is now out of print but xeroxed excerpts will be provided. It contains essential theory to understand principles of social organization. Segalan provides a history of kinship and the family up to contemporary times; Shoumatoff covers some of the same ground but raises a different set of questions. Abbott treats the contemporary social organization of the professions.

Reserve books: Hughes' book is sociobiological, focusing on analysis of empirical data. It has some mathematical sections, which biology students may find useful, but the math itself is not essential to understanding. Goody's book takes a more historical approach, and is essential for an appreciation of how badly misunderstood is the topic of kinship in contemporary society. It is summarized in lectures, and a summary chapter provided. It is also fascinating in terms of case studies, but many other case study materials or bibliographies are available on request.

Sample Studies: to qualify for research use, must contain a social network or
genealogy of an endogamous group (not just chiefly genealogies or lineages)
 K Arheim, Makuna (South America)      E Leach, Pul Eliya (Sri Lanka)

 F Boas, Kwakiutl Ethnology            C Linnekin, Keanae (Maui Hawaiians)

 C Brant, We're all Kin (Appalachia)   J Lockhart, Conquistadores (Peru)

 R Burling, Rengsanggri (Burma)        L Marshall, !Kung (Bushmen)

 N Chagnon, Yanomamo (Venezuela)       G McCall, Rapanui (Easter Island)

 J Dorsey, Omaha                       C Nakane, Garo (India)

 T Ernst, Onabasulu (Melanesia)        R Nicolson, Pitcairn (Pacific)

 R Feinberg, Anuta (Polynesia)         P Ottino, Rangiroa (Polynesia)

 R Firth, Tikopia (Polynesia)          G Roberts, American Presidents

 R Fox, Tory Island (Ireland)          H Scheffler, Choiseul (Solomons)

 C Gailey, Tonga (Polynesia)           M Segalen, Breton (France)

 P Gulliver, Neighbors and Networks    M Stern, Jewish Americans

 J Henry, Kaingang (Brazil)            S Stone, Conquistadores (Costa Rica)

 R Keesing, Kwaio (Pacific)            M Strathern, Elmdon (England)

 M Lantis, Nunivak (Eskimo)            P Lawrence, Garia (Melanesia)