Chapter Outline What are descent groups? What functions do descent groups serve? How do descent groups evolve?
Descent Groups Members share descent from a common ancestor through a series of parent- child links. Unilineal descent establishes kin group membership exclusively through the male or female line.
Patrilineal Descent Groups Male members trace their descent from a common male ancestor. A female belongs to the same descent group as her father and his brother. Authority over the children lies with the father or his elder brother.
Sources of Tension in Patrilineal Descent Groups The requirement for younger men to defer to older men. Requirement for women to defer to men, as well as to the women of a household they marry into.
Matrilineal Descent Groups Descent is traced through the female line. Does not confer public authority on women, but women have more say in decision making than in patrilineal societies. Common in societies where women perform much of the productive work.
Sources of Tension in Matrilineal Descent Groups Husband’s authority lies not in his own household but in that of his sister. Unsatisfactory marriages may be ended easily, resulting in higher divorce rates than patrilineal societies.
Functions of Descent Groups Provide aid and security to their members. Repositories of religious tradition, with group solidarity enhanced by worship of a common ancestor.
Lineages Made up of consanguineal kin who can trace their genealogical links to a common ancestor. Marriage of a group member represents an alliance of two lineages. Lineage exogamy maintains open communication and fosters exchange of information among lineages.
Clans Created when a large lineage group splits into new, smaller ones. Members claim descent from a common ancestor without knowing the genealogical links to that ancestor. Clan identification is often reinforced by totems.
Kindred A small circle of paternal and maternal relatives. A kindred is never the same for any two persons except siblings.
Kinship Terminologies The Hawaiian system The Eskimo system The Iroquois system Omaha system Crow system Sudanese or descriptive system
Terms for the Concepts of “Mother” and “Father” in Western Societies 1. Genetic mother 2. Carrying mother 3. Nurturing mother 4. Complete mother 5. Genetic/carrying mother 6. Genetic/nurturing mother 7. Carrying/nurturing mother 8. Genetic father 9. Nurturing father 10. Complete father