American Kinship: A Cultural Account

Paperback | March 15, 1980

byDavid M. Schneider

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American Kinship is the first attempt to deal systematically with kinship as a system of symbols and meanings, and not simply as a network of functionally interrelated familial roles. Schneider argues that the study of a highly differentiated society such as our own may be more revealing of the nature of kinship than the study of anthropologically more familiar, but less differentiated societies. He goes to the heart of the ideology of relations among relatives in America by locating the underlying features of the definition of kinship—nature vs. law, substance vs. code. One of the most significant features of American Kinship, then, is the explicit development of a theory of culture on which the analysis is based, a theory that has since proved valuable in the analysis of other cultures. For this Phoenix edition, Schneider has written a substantial new chapter, responding to his critics and recounting the charges in his thought since the book was first published in 1968.

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American Kinship is the first attempt to deal systematically with kinship as a system of symbols and meanings, and not simply as a network of functionally interrelated familial roles. Schneider argues that the study of a highly differentiated society such as our own may be more revealing of the nature of kinship than the study of anthr...

David M. Schneider is professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of Chicago and at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:148 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.6 inPublished:March 15, 1980Publisher:University Of Chicago Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226739309

ISBN - 13:9780226739304

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments, 1980
1. Introduction
Part One: The Distinctive Features Which Define the Person as a Relative
2. Relatives
3. The Family
Part Two: The Relative as a Person
4. A Relative Is a Person
5. In-laws and Kinship Terms
6. Conclusion
7. Twelve Years Later