The book is divided into two parts. Part I opens with a discussion of what kinship means to the social anthropologist as distinct from the biologist, and considers the different possible approaches to the subject within social anthropology itself. The following chapters cover topics such as descent, inheritance, succession, the family, residence, marriage, kinship terminology, systems of affinal alliance, the new reproductive technologies, and symbolic approaches to kinship.
In Part II the first four chapters provide an overview of theoretical debates concerning different aspects of kinship. The final chapter provides ethnographic examples, together with an annotated guide to further reading, divided by chapter.
The book applies and illustrates these concepts and topics to a number of contrasting case studies. These illustrate the insights that can be achieved from the study of kinship, and also show that the complexity of even the most familar kinship patterns rarely lends itself to simple description. The author also includes annotated guides to further reading.
Part I: Basic Concepts:.
3. The Family and Other Kin Groupings.
4. Marriage and Sexual Relations.
5. Kinship (Relationship) Terminology.
6. Symmetric Affinal Alliance.
7. Asymmetric Affinal Alliance.
8. FZD and ZD Marriage.
9. Non–prescriptive Pseudo–systems.
10. The Meaning of Kinship.
Part II: Theories of Kinship:.
11. The Significance of Kinship in Anthropology.
12. Theories of Descent.
13. Kinship Terminology and Affinal Alliance.
14. Typologies and Terminological Change.
15. Ethnographic Examples and Further Reading.