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  3. Anthropology of Kinship and Family

Anthropology of Kinship and Family (ANTH30004)

Undergraduate level 3Points: 12.5Not available in 2019

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Year of offerNot available in 2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 3
Subject codeANTH30004
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Kinship studies has a long, important and contentious history in Anthropology. Drawing on this historical legacy this subject applies both classic and contemporary anthropological theories of family, kinship and social relatedness to a range of ethnographic case studies. The subject addresses three inter-related themes. Firstly, there is an anthropological focus on the links that exist between kinship and the nation-state in terms of national identity, ethnicity, migration and state policy. Secondly, the subject considers yet complicates imaginings of blood ties and biogenetic substance by examining the influences of black magic, ghost marriages, Skype, spiritual conception, milk, guns, deities, surrogate mothers and medical practitioners in the shaping of kin ties today. Finally, there is a focus on continuity and social change and the ways in which the meaning of family, kinship and social relationships are transformed or otherwise by new reproductive and genetic technologies, polygamy, same-sex relationships, friendships and the influence of internet and mobile-phone based forms of communication.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject students should:

  • Demonstrate a critical, cross-cultural understanding of anthropological perspectives on family, kinship and social relatedness
  • Develop a reflexive appreciation of the meaning of family, kinship and social relations in the context of their own lives
  • Develop an appreciation of the interplay between theory and ethnography inquiry
  • Be able to communicate effectively in written and oral formats

Last updated: 11 October 2019