Kinship, Networks, and Exchange

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Time and Structure in Gogo Kinship

We see here how the state performs this ideological frame De Rapper Drawing on fieldwork carried out between and in the neighbourhood of Trun, the study focuses on the local practices and images of trans-border contact and exchange between kin. Galia Valtchinova asks how cross-border ties of kinship are made meaningful and used by local people during socialism and in the first post-socialist decade.

She shows that because of its moralisation and its politicisation by the Bulgarian State, kinship should not be used as a network to trade. The nationalist and socialist ideological frames shape the uses of the kinship network: it is shameful to trade with family because, although trading is shameful, kin relationship would become irrelevant Valtchinova The media has played a role in defining the ideological frames on the family. Taking the example of Karpathos, Vernier shows how an ideological frame, which often naturalises relationships of domination, is produced on a family level on a day-to-day basis Vernier In the same way, Berna Ekal shows how the role of mother-in-law is constructed in everyday interaction.

She analyses well the importance of the everyday context. In this context, discussions on being a kaynana [mother-in-law] help to consider the ways in which the notion of family is central to the perception of women. Ekal argues that proper kinship roles shape the relation of people to the people other than their kin Ekal He examines specific patterns of adaptation and transmission within families belonging to Turkish high bourgeoisie. They are not produced by the same agents and they do not necessarily present the same perspective see Dorronsoro ; Behar Indeed the perspectives produced can come into direct competition, or even cause a confrontation.

This confrontation can be exacerbated when it concerns access to various resources, as Gilles Dorronsoro demonstrates Dorronsoro Through a study of cross-border petrol trade between and , Galia Valtchinova explains why Bulgarian citizens preferred not to make use of their relationships on the other side of the border to trade. This refusal can be explained by a moralisation of kinship by the state, which considered such collusion as a hindrance on the move towards democracy.

Hence, people would dispense with kinship and use weaker, less constraining kinds of links, with which it was possible to bargain without scruples. However, this example also demonstrates how important the alignment of ideological frames is. Here, be it at the individual, family or state level, one frame dominates: that which denounces the use of family ties. Using kinship can be stigmatised as nepotism for example. Other times, it is between the familial and the individual frames that there is dissonance. Hence he is perceived by the rest of the group as a provider of services, even if he himself refuses to take on this role, having adopted the ideological frame of the state, whether by strategy or by internalization following a secondary socialising college, university etc.

He presents how new frames produced in the course of the processes of urban migration and politisation came into competition with the clan. Generally, people engaged in the PKK are former urban migrants who left the city with their own experiences, keeping a distance with the clanic ideology. In this context, agents could engage in the PKK, breaking with this former ideological frame.

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Affiliation to a clanic or family-friendly ideological frame is therefore not natural: we see here the importance of primary socialisation and especially secondary socialisation, that sometimes brings primary socialisation into question on this point, see Behar and Fliche forthcoming The question is to know according to which social logics, the alignment or the dissonance comes about. Does one have a right to expect something from a cousin, a brother or a sister?

In other words, to whom does one have a right and what does one have a right to ask? It is vital that we capture the horizon of expectation of the individual. These expectations exist in behaviour and in the elaboration of strategies Autant-Dorier ; De Rapper ; Fliche, Massicard ; Valtchinova Let us here consider the example given by Bernard Vernier of the Island of Karpathos The kinship system is characterised there by the existence of cleanly separated sexual lines, both masculine and feminine, based on first names and indivisible estates.

The first-born male continues the masculine line of his father, which he in turn inherited. As such, he revived his paternal grandfather whose first name he took, legitimising his right to his inheritance. Similarly, the first-born female belonged to the female line of her mother, which she in turn inherited. She took the name of her maternal grandmother which she revived. The other children were excluded from inheriting, and less neatly classed by their first names and their resemblances.

If the youngest boys emigrated, the youngest girls stayed. Remaining unmarried for life, these females served as unpaid helpers to their elders. The result was that solidarity between brothers was weak and indeed weaker than that which bonds the youngest girls to the elders for whom they worked.

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He knows that he can count on such and such member of his family more than such and such other. Hence, he can make use of a maternal uncle in order to migrate, for example, more than he can a paternal uncle, because he knows that the first has a moral obligation towards him.

Here we can reconsider the case of Turkey where, if one follows Altan Gokalp, people expect various kinds of behaviour from different family members. Why did my step-brother embrace me? Let us also consider bacanak. These are the men who have married sisters. As such, they share a common position in the exchanges that link them to the same wife-giver. This equality grants them equivalent status, abolishing any age hierarchy Gokalp However, this equality does not necessarily lead us to postulate any privileged cooperation.

Here we will rediscover the ideological frameworks and the hierarchies that they support together. It is because one expects some given rights and obligations that one makes milk and blood parents. In Nigeria, Vernier shows that the Apari is a mediator of exceptional efficiency in case of conflict within a group, for example between a man and his wife. One expects him to play a protective role, to offer hospitality in this kind of situation within your own tribe or during attacks of sorcery of which the most dangerous comes from close relatives, such as father or mother.

The aim is to expose the methods of manipulation of kinship. There are many ways of doing this: matrimonial unions, constantly maintaining links with visits Ekal , exchanges of goods and services etc. Claire Autant-Dorier, in her work on Turkish families in France, demonstrates how ancestries are social constructions having a practical significance, even if they are, from a historical point of view, false. These ancestries are used and give rise to effective and fundamental relations in the migratory experience.

A genealogical knowledge is therefore at work here, an essential asset in the use the individual can make of the various resources provided by the members of the kinship Autant-Dorier Following the same logic, Jenny White demonstrated how, in Istanbul, the working classes used a fictitious kinship to include those persons not related in an imaginary network of reciprocity, and to euphemise the relations of economic power , In the same perspective, we can see here the article of Bernard Vernier, who shows how and why kinship is constructed through humours blood and milk Vernier One of the main ideas of Bernard Vernier is to show that kinship is so important that it is necessary to construct it if it does not exist.

Spiritual kinship or humour kinship are forms of kinship constructed with a means to an end. Vernier It is obvious that these types of kinship are social constructs. The Ulusoy are characterised by an important role in politics. This lineage, concentrating religious resources and political resources is therefore a particularly salient example of the way in which kinship can link several sectors of social life.

R eligious resources are transformed into economic and political ones. This shows that kinship is a matrix of change of capital from one kind to another. However, the Ulusoy do not constitute a kinship front see later. We are therefore concerned with people who look to strengthen links in the family by forming alliances.

These endogamous marriages permit them to build alliances with other family branches and therefore to reinforce their own place within the family. Fliche, Massicard What are the factors determining it? Indeed, the latter are also determined by the type of operation the individual wishes to carry out.

It is not the same thing to migrate with the intermediary of a relative and to go into business with him: the costs, risks and debts are not the same. For certain actions, it is better to form an alliance with a distant cousin with whom you maintain a good relationship, than with an uncle who looks down on you as unequal, notably if there is a symbolic debt involved. It is sometimes easier to soak up a symbolic debt owed to an equal than to someone of a higher standing with whom you forever stay indebted see Autant-Dorier ; Behar ; Valtchinova And even if someone has a well-placed uncle or cousin, it might be impossible to ask for help due to a previous disagreement.

Indeed, family memory is a central factor within the tactics of kinship networks.

Theories About Family & Marriage: Crash Course Sociology #37

Kinship practices quite necessarily imply a complex genealogy of tactics, confrontations and alliances, legitimising future tactics. Each individual is therefore heir to a heritage with which he has to deal. A too close relationship, if put to the test by a shared initiative, can result in a profound rupture, as we established when studying a Turkish family of Narbonne. The nephew finally bought back the restaurant from his uncle, who opened another metres away from the original.

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This story was an eye-opener for many Turks in Narbonne, as many now prefer to go into business with those socially more neutral than cousins. The prospect of a family argument plays an important role in the decision-making process. This was evident in the example given by Laurence Fontaine. More generally, the characteristics of the society where the action takes place play a role. Let us take the example of Narbonne again. Many Turks prefer to go into business with strangers rather than relations.

Because they are in a country giving them a certain security with the possibility of efficient legal proceedings in case of a problem, which appears to be less so the case in Turkey. Is that to say that Turks do not go into business together as a family in Narbonne Fliche forthcoming ? Of course not. Families run the majority of shops and businesses because a family provides the greatest flexibility in relation to the various French administrative constraints.

In a highly competitive environment, Turkish families, in particular brothers, adopt the clear strategy of going into business together. One of the brothers forms a company in his own name. If one brother is declared bankrupt, a common predicament, the other brother immediately forms another company with family capital. This results in a veritable turnover of owners in a family, allowing it to bypass various crises and bankruptcies whereas one sole individual would take great pains to recover from them. We also saw a young girl, hardly an adult, using her skills as a craftswoman to form her own business after several members of her family were declared bankrupt.

It is this way because they live in a very competitive environment. This integration process, which takes place essentially through educational strategies — socialisation — is all the more fundamental that family is first of all a field characterised by power and exploitation relationships Vernier It is therefore necessary that an ideological edifice be in place, in which forces of fusion emotions counter-balance the forces of fission Bourdieu , Vernier This also implies a significant difference in goal: in one case, the family unit appears as a mere resource, whereas in the other the construction of a front of kinship makes it a collective agent.

It also implies that the agents the heads of households should know how to mobilise family members around a common project. This capacity to organise is not absolutely evident, as indirectly demonstrated in the article of Michel Bauer Bauer notes the difficulties to transmit a firm from father to son. He distinguishes three different scenarios. The father gives his heir the illusion that his son will one day replace him, but leaves him no real authority and keeps him in the position of a mere second-in-command.

If the father is in good health and the difference in age is not significant, we can see fifty year old sons still working under the thumb of their fathers.

Gellner's Ideal Kinship Language and the Connection between Biological and Social Relatedness

The second scenario is the murder of the father. His successor decides to take over. This invariably leads to a conflict caused by the departure of one of them. The third case comprises of a move away from power, by developing a new activity — a diversification which, in the end, might represent a way to take control of a predominant part of the company. This strategy supposes therefore a high level of entrepreneurial spirit. It permits the transmission of responsibility, while at the same time avoiding direct conflict.

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In addition, through these examples, we can see the economic consequences of the Oedipus complex. It can especially be pointed out that the fronts of kinship are not formed without difficulty, since the familial economic rationale would have it that the training and transition be carried out smoothly. This transition can be seen through a change in family actions. This is not a short-sighted approach, but one calculated in the long run.

In the case of a group of villagers that I studied Fliche forthcoming , some individuals exhibited familial behaviour in a highly competitive environment, marked by strong family coalitions, underlining therefore the importance of lineage, and adopting more individualist behaviour in less socially controlled environments.

These social practices of kinship are not without effect on kinship itself. They have feedback effects on different levels. Let us consider two of them: that of the family group, and that of the kinship system. How does a family group react to being put to the test? Do these tensions lead to conflict, and if so, what are the modes of resolution and management: the forming of a group dynamic in case of violent outbreaks or a procedure for conciliation? To analyse this, we must carefully scrutinise the situations where kinship is put to the test; i. Consequently these feedback effects have an influence on the way in which family relationships will organise themselves.

Individual tactics have had negative effects on family collective capital: the uses of kinship made by the Ulusoys in politics contribute to decrease their religious authority Fliche, Massicard Those with a bad background are prohibited to marry others, in turn they are obliged to form a lower class De Rapper It can have larger consequences for societies. Let us remind ourselves here of the dynamic character of the kinship systems. Sometimes even the terminology changes quickly. So before our very eyes, Polish and Chinese terminologies of Sudanese origin evolve into an Eskimo terminology, just as was the case years ago with the Roman terminology.

In the geographical sphere that we are concerned with, Gilles De Rapper demonstrated as regards Albania , how and why the terminology had evolved so quickly. It is therefore necessary to remember that the evolution of social relationships results in people changing the way in which they manage their alliances and their legacies. Bernard Vernier gives us the example of the island of Karpathos This is a system regulated like a clock operating according to a principle of disinheritance of the youngest children.

The latter, forced to migrate to Europe or the USA, enjoy a social ascent without precedent in the history of the island during the last half of the twentieth century. They return to Karpathos and completely overthrow the social system. Those traditionally dominant in the system [ cancares ], find it difficult to understand, or are even incapable of understanding the extent of the change that has occurred.

Even if their symbolic capital comes to counterbalance the financial capital of the migrants, their domination slowly crumbles. The social system is therefore reformed with an important phenomena of hysteresis. This power is a double-faceted one. It can be a key element in social reproduction, a feature that the majority of studies have tackled, but also an amplifier, an accelerator, even an important factor in mutation.

More than a matrix of reproduction, it could also be a matrix of social transformation. Boissevain, Jeremy Friends of friends: networks, manipulators and coalitions , Oxford, Basil Blackwell. Foster, Biran L. Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Overview The intent of this collection of original essays is to revitalize the study of kinship and exchange in a social network perspective. The collection combines studies of empirical systems of marriage and descent with investigations of the flow of material resources. This book marks the emergence of a new era in the study of kinship and exchange using a productive combination of ethnographic substance with formal methods, one which leaves behind older structural-functionalist and culturalist assumptions.

Product Details Table of Contents. Table of Contents 1. Revitalizing the study of kinship and exchange with network approaches; Part I. The grapevine forest: kinship, status and wealth in a Mediterranean community Selo, Croatia ; 3. Kinship, property transmission, and stratification in Javanese villages; 4. Ambilateral sideness among the Sinhalese: marriage networks and property flows in Pul Eliya Sri Lanka ; 5.

Alliance, exchange, and the organization of boat corporations in Lamalera E. Indonesia ; Part II. Experimental flexibility of cultural models: kinship knowledge and networks among individual Khasi Meghalaya, N. India ; 7. Moral economy and self-interest: Kinship, friendship and exchange among the Pokot N. Kenya ; 8. Risk, uncertainty and economic exchange in a pastoral community of the Andean Highlands Huancar, N. Argentina ; Part III. Wealth transfers occasioned by marriage: a comparative reconsideration; Prestations and progeny: the consolidation of well-being among the Bakkarwal of Jammu and Kashmir; Indonesia ; Part IV.

Applications of the minimum spanning tree problem to network analysis; Local rules, global structures: models of exclusive straight sister-exchange; The capacity and constraints of kinship in the development of the Enga Tee Ceremonial exchange network Papua New Guinea Highlands ; Between war and peace: gift exchange and commodity barter in the central and fringe Highlands of Papua New Guinea.

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Kinship, Networks, and Exchange Kinship, Networks, and Exchange
Kinship, Networks, and Exchange Kinship, Networks, and Exchange
Kinship, Networks, and Exchange Kinship, Networks, and Exchange
Kinship, Networks, and Exchange Kinship, Networks, and Exchange
Kinship, Networks, and Exchange Kinship, Networks, and Exchange
Kinship, Networks, and Exchange Kinship, Networks, and Exchange
Kinship, Networks, and Exchange Kinship, Networks, and Exchange
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