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Kinship, Ecology and History. Renewal of Conjunctures. Edition No. 1

  • ID: 5186605
  • Book
  • October 2019
  • 246 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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The analysis of kinship plays a major role in social anthropology. However, the intellectual triumph of structuralism has transformed this analysis into an ivory tower and the methodological hegemony of functionalism inhibits any historical authority. Kinship, Ecology and History informs the reader of these old, yet long-lasting issues. By presenting new, original perspectives, this book reinvents the manner in which we can study kinship. It also examines ecology and history as a conjectural reflection, which make up the foundations on which human kinship can be reflected upon. Whether human kinship is understood in the form of systematics models or as articulated practices, it has to be conceived as a strategic means for modes of action and of transformation of life in society. The three case studies presented in this book give body to new issues. They deconstruct the existing models in order to re-establish kinship as a condition and consequence of social evolution.
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Introduction ix

Chapter 1. Conditional Conjecture: the Relationship Between Ecology, Evolution and History 1

1.1. Do the sources contaminate history? 1

1.1.1. Consequences and extensions of a deadlock 2

1.1.2. The return of evolutionism: another disposal of ecology and history 4

1.2. The recurrent pitfalls of conjecture in the face of kinship 6

1.2.1. The misleading security of the base 7

1.2.2. Causes, emergences and functions 13

1.2.3. Statistics and anomalies 17

1.3. Controllable conjectures: perceiving kinship as conditional 21

1.3.1. Aram Yengoyan’s edifying investigation into Australia 22

1.3.2. An ecology of kinship from its initial reports 26

1.3.3. Prescription and prohibition: “to marry the closest”? 34

1.3.4. Contraventions, restrictions and extensions: adaptable kinship? 40

1.4. The relationship between filiation and alliance reconsidered as a variable 49

1.5. The challenge: correlating and speculating without conclusion 54

Chapter 2. Mode of Reproduction and Prohibition of Incest 57
Sejin PARK

2.1. Mode of reproduction in world III: the case of nomadic hunter-gatherers 59

2.1.1. Universal kinship 59

2.1.2. Couple formation as condition for reproduction 62

2.1.3. Ways to obtain the category of “marriageable kin” 64

2.2. Mode of reproduction in world I 67

2.2.1. Two invariants and an alternative in community formation 67

2.2.2. Promiscuity regime 70

2.2.3. Transition from the undivided community to the community divided into consanguineous groups 71

2.3. Mode of reproduction in world II 74

2.3.1. The meaning of We 75

2.3.2. From immediate to delayed sexuality 77

2.3.3. Mode of reproduction and delayed sexuality 78

2.4. On the evolutionary pertinence of the prohibition of incest 83

2.4.1. Sexual avoidance and exogamy 83

2.4.2. Prohibiting more to specify more 87

Chapter 3. Open and Closed Systems: Rebuilding the Social Organization of Prehistoric Societies 93

3.1. Introduction 93

3.2. Theoretical proposals 99

3.3. Kinship and the problem of symmetry 101

3.3.1. What is a “kinship system”? 101

3.3.2. Recalling the basic principles of terminology representation 103

3.3.3. The system called “Eskimo” or cognatic 109

3.3.4. The so-called “Dravidian” system and its variants 111

3.3.5. The problem of symmetry 117

3.3.6. Lévi-Strauss and the origins of kinship 119

3.3.7. Nick Allen’s “tetradic” theory 127

3.3.8. Why are section systems not strictly speaking kinship? 134

3.3.9. Practice and rule 141

3.3.10. The basics necessary for the discussion of open and closed systems 146

3.4. Kinship and ecology: hunter-gatherers and Sahul 148

3.4.1. To be or not to be a hunter-gatherer 148

3.4.2. Closed systems: the “classic” Australian model 153

3.4.3. Open systems: ethnography of the Western Desert 158

3.4.4. The first occupants of Sahul 173

3.5. Is a “sociobiology” of exchange realistic? 178

3.6. For a new typology 188

Conclusion 193

References 203

Index 225

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Laurent Dousset
Sejin Park
Georges Guille-Escuret
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