A121AW Kinship and Social Organization

SSL 145 Fall 1998 (60160) T,Th 9:30-10:50
Doug White SSPA 4169 tel. 824-5893 drwhite [at ] uci [dot] edu Office Hours: Wed all day and by APPT
UCI Electronic Educational Environment

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

You must access http://eclectic.ss.uci.edu/~drwhite/kinsoc98.htm on the net, where all the underlined links are live, for full access to the materials on this syllabus. This class requires use of the internet for tutorials, assignments, and access to resources, through the one of many browsers available across the campus. You may use your personal web browser, but one is not required. You can expect to put in 3-4 hours per week on the internet. Some web material, pending approval by Schwimmer, may be available at the Clone Factory.

  • Required Readings: Bookstore; on the web; Clone Factory
  • Requirements: under revision
  • Photocopied chapters provided from:

    On-Line Resources:

    The first two weeks are devoted to learning basic concepts - use the tutorial, focusing on concepts, and cross-reference them with Parkin. You will be quizzed on these materials!

    Week 1 Kinship, Kin Group, Family

    Week 2 Marriage and Kinship Networks

    By the third week we look at how the basic concepts are exemplified in the case-study materials that are part of the tutorial.

    Week 3 Residence, Inheritance, Succession

    Next we begin to apply the concepts and theories to ethnographic case studies

    Week 4 Cross-Cultural Variation

    Schwimmer Tutorial

    Settlements and Residence

    Lineages and/or Kin Groups


    Kinship Terminology


    Ancient Hebrews

    1.Tribe, States, Class...; Inheritance and Succession

    2.Patrilineal Descent
    Lineage Structures



    1.Tribe, States, Class Social and Political Functions

    Turkish Village

    Domestic Organization

    Lineage Organization


    Kinship Terminology

    The Peasant Village as a Social Type

    The Yanomamo

    5.Intergroup Relationships

    2.Lineage Organization


    4.Kinship Terminology

    5.Intergroup Relationships

    Akan (Ashanti)

    1.Settlement Patterns 4.Residence Rules

    2.Matrilineal Organization



    5.Social Stratification 6.Political Organization

    Dani of New Guinea

    1.The Setting 6.Residence

    2.Descent Groups




    Parkin on Theories:



    Ch. 15

    Week 5 What's it like on the inside? Leach on Social Relations and Roles

    Now we move to designing an original piece of research, looking at the raw material of social organization and social change, the social network. Each student will choose from among the available resources

    Week 6 The Ethnographic Network

    Week 7 Exchange Theory

    Week 8 Networked Histories, Class, Domestic Units, Ownership and Capital

    Week 9-10 review, discussion, and student reports

    Reserve (including optional supplementary readings):

    Sample Studies: to qualify for research use, must contain a social network or
    genealogy of an endogamous group (not just chiefly genealogies or lineages).
    Many other case study materials or bibliographies are available on request.
     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)