A Critique of the Study of Kinship by David M. Schneider

By David M. Schneider

Schneider perspectives kinship examine as a made from Western bias and demanding situations its use because the common degree of the research of social constitution

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Evans-Pritchard makes a similar point in 1940. "The assimilation of community ties to lineage structure, the expression of territorial affiliation in a lineage idiom, and the expression bf lineage affiliation in terms of territorial attachments, is what makes the lineage system so significant for a study of political organization" (p. 205). Or again, " T h e system of lineages of the dominant clan is a conceptual skeleton on which the local communities are built up into an organization of related parts, or, as we would prefer to state it, a system of values linking tribal segments and providing the idiom in which their relations can be expressed and directed" (p.

If they bear children, the children will remain members of the tabinau and be of their mother's genung. The sons' wives' sons will in their turn bring wives of different genung into the tabinau. A tabinau is thus stratified across at least two generations (mothers and their children and the son's wives and their children) by different genung. By the same token, of course, a man and his sisters and the sisters' children spread across two tabinau but make one genung. In a unit of this sort, the man (mother's brother to the sisters' children) is referred to as matam ko genung.

Alas, no! This is the problem that this book is about. How does one properly translate not just the single words, but the sentences, acts, the states of affairs? To shortcut the whole process by assuming somehow that a linguist or grammarian really knows what ta-, tarn-, and tin- mean and that the gloss such an ' 'expert'' provides is necessarily correct begs the question of how to determine the proper translation. Over and above that there is the question of the utility of such glosses of specific terms or grammatical forms without taking into account the culturally distinct kinds of uses in discourse.

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