By Janet Carsten

What's the impression on anthropology of modern reviews of reproductive applied sciences, gender, and the social building of technological know-how within the West? what's the importance of public nervousness in regards to the relatives to anthropology's analytic technique? Janet Carsten provides an unique view of the previous, current, and way forward for kinship in anthropology for you to be of curiosity to anthropologists in addition to to different social scientists.

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Sample text

The association of the material dwelling and its inhabitants, mediated by the hearth and by food cooked there, occurs very widely. In many parts of Southeast Asia, the medium through which houses and people are tied to each other, and to the soil, is rice. Among the Malay people with whom I carried out fieldwork in the early 1980s, rice is the prime source of nutrition and strength, and especially of healthy blood. The consumption of rice meals cooked in the hearth not only strengthens existing ties of kinship between household members, it can actually create such ties with those who have recently come to share residence, such as foster children or in-marrying affines.

Schneider (1980) framed his analysis of American Kinship around a distinction between the “order of nature” and the “order of law,” or between substance and code. In A Critique of the Study of Kinship, he demonstrated that kinship theory was steeped in Euro-American folk assumptions about the primacy of ties derived from sexual procreation, and that these assumptions did not 4 Domaining practices in anthropology have been the subject of much recent analytic attention (see Yanagisako 1979; 1987; Yanagisako and Delaney 1995; McKinnon 2000; Franklin and McKinnon 2001a).

But each also holds possibilities for refashioning the study of kinship in new ways. And it is to this end that I gather in this book some of the insights learned in these fields. If the revitalization of kinship studies is an analytic project, the inspiration for it comes from the people whom anthropologists study – from the widespread interest in Diane Blood’s story, or the sympathy one might feel listening to Anna’s story of her search for her birth mother. When the abstract theoretical debates of mid-twentieth century kinship studies 16 Introduction: After Kinship?

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