By Jack Goody
A set of specifically commissioned essays facing common facets of kinship, kin and marriage from an anthropological perspective, that's, contemplating the full diversity of human societies. In his editorial creation, Jack Goody explains that his objective has been to supply 'essays facing normal topics instead of ethnographic conundrums or descriptive trivia' within the wish of attaining 're-consideration of a few important troublesome areas together with these tested through an past new release of anthropologists and nonetheless raised through students outdoors the self-discipline itself'. person essays conceal difficulties akin to the character of kinship and the kinfolk; why monogamy?; intermarriage and the construction of castes. The members contain R. G. Abrahams, J. A. Barnes, Fredrik Barth, Maurice Bloch, Derek Freeman, Jack Goody, Grace Harris, Jean los angeles Fontaine, Edmund Leach, Julian Pitt-Rivers, Raymond T. Smith, Andrew Strathern and S. J. Tambiah.
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Extra resources for The Character of Kinship
As for the second source of variety the point can probably best be made by comparing the nature of political identity among the Nyoro of Uganda (Beattie 1970) and the Nuer (Evans-Pritchard 1940). Among the Nyoro, legal domicile in a particular locality is obtained by offering allegiance, in the form of tribute and obedience, to the headman. The political unit is bounded by association with the territorial jurisdiction of the office to which all residents owe allegiance. Among the Nuer such a unit 36 Jean La Fontaine is bounded, not by the jurisdiction of an office but of an ancestor, the founder of the patrilineal descent group whose territory it is.
86). It is clear that the principle of descent defined here is a means of allocating membership of segments of society. That is, an individual is placed within the society into which he is born by reference to his membership of a segment of it. It underlies the allocations of status, including political privileges and liabilities, and often legitimises rights to various forms of property. Most clearly of all descent is not an observable reality but an analytical construct. The ethnographic manifestation of this underlying principle is variable.
Barnes has continued to question whether we can identify a unilineal ideology at all in Highlands societies (1962, 1967 a), even among the Mae-Enga, described by Meggitt as having a 'lineage system' (Meggitt 1965); and he has been followed by others who have declared that we must look carefully at the diversity of prescription and idioms in each case (Langness 1968; A. J. Strathern 1972). g. de Lepervanche 1967-8, A. J. Strathern 1969, 1972, Glasse and Lindenbaum 1971, Watson 1964, Sahlins 1965).