Summary Of Kinship In Earth Abides

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In the book Earth Abides, by George R. Stewart, there are various examples where kinship can be seen as the main integrating force. Following the main character, Isherwood Williams, through his journey to salvation, kinship emerges as the first institution after the great disaster. Towards the end of chapter 6, when Ish meets Em, the kinship institution informally begins. As these two begin to develop a new generation, starting with their two first two kids, John and Mary, and start including people into their community, the kinship institution begins to grow. In addition, in year sixteen, the children of Em and Molly get married, further expanding the kinship, making it extended and uniting both Ish’s and Ezra’s family. The family structure …show more content…
Because of their small size, it seems to resemble a small tribe of a hunting and gathering society. The family structure would be considered neolocal since Ish, Em and their kids were the only ones to live together under a single household. In terms of the marriage status, monogamy seems to be the main norm, given that Ish is only married to Em and their kids have single wives/husbands. However, there seems to be an exception with Ezra who is in a polygamous relationship with, both, Molly and Jean. Their small tribe follows a bilateral system, tracking both the lineage of the mother and father. Overall, Ish’s community seems to resemble a hunting and gathering community with some elements of more advanced societies …show more content…
However, as the population began to increase, kinship could no longer handle the cultural reproduction, resulting in the emergence of the education system. Tuner defines this institution as “The systematic organization of formal student-teacher instruction, revolving around an explicit curriculum and involving ritualized student passage, that has consequences among the members of a population for social reproduction, cultural storage, social placement, conflict management and social transformation”. Not only would education address the pressures of social reproduction, it would also deal with regulation pressures associated with polity. In reality, all the institutions and their selection pressures are interconnected. As mentioned, education emerged when kinship could no longer handle the social reproduction pressures as well as when polity needed support in regulation. Education has three main elements: a system of formalized instruction, an explicit curriculum and a form of ritualized passage. Formalized instruction required the roles of two status positions: the teacher and student, with these roles learning is formalized. The explicit curriculum allows for subject matter to be taught. After gaining the knowledge required by the set curriculum, students would take part in a ritualized passage that acknowledged their acquired skills. However, the education system was not merely used for passing down

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