The Structures And Functions Of Families And Kinship Essay

1477 Words Dec 10th, 2015 6 Pages
“Anthropology is the study of the human species and its immediate ancestors. Anthropology is a uniquely and holistic science.”(Introduction to Anthropology 3) The main topics of discussion for this research paper are the structures and functions of families and kinship. "The family is a social group characterized by common residence, economic cooperation, and reproduction. It includes adults of both sexes, at least two of whom maintain a socially approved sexual relationship, and one or more children, own or adopted, of the sexually cohabiting adults."(Murdock 1949) Kinship systems are “culturally defined human relationships of interdependence underlying social organizations.” (Gonzalez, Kinship Systems) Two of the most universal family functions are nurturing and enculturating children, and economic cooperation. (Gonzalez, Family) The two major types of families are nuclear and extended families. The nuclear family “contains a father, mother and the children.” (Georgas 2003) Extended families consist of, “the grandparents, father, mother, children, but also aunts, uncles, cousins, and other kin are considered to be family."(Georgas 2003) For the sake of this research paper I interviewed a classmate, Alexas. Alexas’ family of orientation is a nuclear family household with her parents and siblings. Her kinship system also has a bilateral kindred descent group, which uses lineal terminology. To get a better understanding of kinship groups I compared Alexas’ kinship group to…

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