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Kinship Theories Analysis

What Kinship is all About?

The idea of kinship has been very complex causing scholars a lot of trouble in defining and creating functional genealogies. Some scholars argue that kinship has to do with a flexible idiom concerning grammar and language use. On the other hand, other researchers view kinship as associations of corporations that last over lifetimes of persons and so on. This is the reason why is very hard to resolve kinship into specific groups or ordered group with a set of laws and components of definition or even conclude that meaning of kinship is fluid, figurative and independent of reasons allegedly means to determine the relationship among people.

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Intricacies of Kinship

Schneider basically defines kinship based on symbolic connections particularly socialization and biological concepts. Kinship is not just a pre-constructed structure in anthropology that links biological and social relatedness (Schneider 51). There are many other familial connections and kinship ties that fall outside the description of kinship by conventional anthropology. Schneider clearly points out that kinship, just like other larger institutions like politics, economics and/or rubrics, has to be projected to other societies and try to attain ethnographic rebuilding. The problem is that these end up only in projections rather than the real discoveries of the intricacies in kinship organizations in different places and in a variety of cultures.

There is a very big dispute concerning the naturalness and worldwide application of kinship including its function in the establishment of other social institutions. The naturalness concept here drives the meaning of kinship to the sexual reproduction and relations that people have that are associated with reproduction. This is biological and sexual processes are very vital as far as kinship is concerned though they can apply even outside kinship ties. Schneider challenges the description of kinship as an issue of biological interpretation, consanguinity with associations significant insofar as they bring out some kind of genealogy. He claims that this is the imposition of the American conception of kinship to other cultures.

Schneider’s use of Blood as being thicker to imply forming strong bonds is a very clear idiom of describing kinship. However, it does not means that biological relationships are universal, innate, sufficient, conceptual and unique. Rather these aphorisms only indicate that blood lies (bonds) can be or are stronger than other types of relationships.

Morgan and McLennan Theories

Morgan’s theory purports that the method of classification when determining kinsmen draws from the knowledge on how the members are related biologically or genetically. This in turn depends on the way they intermarried. Just like other scholars, Morgan puts a lot of weight on marriage which is a sexual relationship between man and woman. McLennan details what was suggested by Morgan but adds to his theory that though, kinship followed family ties, it was very reliant again on the social responsibilities of the kinsmen. McLennan also argues that responsibilities and rights, property and succession were according to blood ties. However, both agree that Kinship revolved around marriage, factors of reproduction and genetic connections.


Having clarified the troubles of describing kinship, it’s evident from Morgan and McLennan’s suppositions the only two factors were required to determine genealogy. One was that marriage was a sexual union between man and woman and two, is that consanguinity was a common ancestry ideology.

Work Cited

Schneider, David.What is Kinship All About?” Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1972. Print.

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"Kinship Theories Analysis." StudyCorgi, 7 Dec. 2021,

1. StudyCorgi. "Kinship Theories Analysis." December 7, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "Kinship Theories Analysis." December 7, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Kinship Theories Analysis." December 7, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Kinship Theories Analysis'. 7 December.

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