Relevant, focused and accessible this book will provide students with an indispensible guide to the central concepts of family studies.




Historically, as a concept, kinship refers to formal systems of relationships with regard to alliances of marriage and lines of descent. More recently, it is also used to refer to broad family connections in contemporary developed societies.


The term ‘kin’ has been used historically as a way of describing people who are considered to have particular relational connections and to refer to relationships based in blood ties. Early twentieth-century European and New World anthropologists, studying people living in societies very different from their own, took patterns of kinship to be the central organizing principle – or structure – in such societies where there was no formal government. Because some early anthropologists viewed the nuclear family as universal and rooted in psychological and biological factors that ...

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