Kinship: Sociology and Aboriginal People Essay

1149 Words Nov 14th, 2008 5 Pages
Aboriginal societies were admired for their sense of belonging; everybody in their language group was their family. Everybody helped in the raising, care and discipline of children in the group (Bourke and Edwards, 1994. p.97).
Kinship took a central role in the structure of Aboriginal communities because it was their main way of organising people and their social relationships (Keen 2004, p.174). It helped the Aboriginal people to know where they stood in regards to social relationships and their behaviour towards every other person (Broom 2002, p.19-20). Aboriginal people coexisted in harmony and lived in a balanced society with the land, animals, and everything living. This essay will highlight
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Eg: I am a female and my mother’s sister is my mother as well in Aboriginal society instead of being my aunt in European society. Everyone knew who their blood mother and father were (Broome, 2001. p.20). Family was everything to Aboriginal people.
Aboriginal societies used their kinship as a reference to systems of classification in order to organise their entire social world (Edwards, 1998. p.303).
Horton States “in Australia, kinship and society was virtually the same thing” (1994, Volume 1: p.551). Social relationships in general were the same as relationships between kin. There were two categories: ‘kin’ between whom amity was prescribed and whose interaction was governed by moral norms; and ‘aliens’ who were outside this moral order (Horton, 1994, Volume 1: p.551). Kinship was an essential way in which to identify a person, and where they were from. Culture and identity is one and the same, if you deny or loose your language and culture then you loose your identity, meaning who you are (Broome, 2001. p.20). When the Europeans came to Australia, Aboriginal society was changed forever. Until today no Aboriginal society has been able to maintain its former integrity and independence (Berndt, R.M. & C.H. p.491-492). Because Aboriginal people based their daily life on unchanged tradition, the

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