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Introduction

Emerging Kinship in a Changing Middle East

Soraya Tremayne

This issue is the outcome of a panel organised on ‘Emerging Kinship in Changing Middle East’, at a conference held by the Commission on the Anthropology of the Middle East in Krakow in 2016. But, this is also an opportunity to reflect on the marker

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Introduction

(De)materializing Kinship—Holding Together Mutuality and Difference

Kathryn E. Goldfarb and Caroline E. Schuster

We begin our inquiries into kinship with a question and a provocation. While kinship relationships are often explored through a focus on ‘mutuality’, what do we gain empirically, theoretically, and politically by exploring the non -mutuality that

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Azim Malikov

often take its specific name’ ( DeWeese 1999: 507–508 ). Local conceptions of Xoja kinship systems have an impact on people’s identity formation. Kinship is one form of identification that constitutes people’s multiple identities. Kinship patterns and

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Ghost Mothers

Kinship Relationships in Thai Spirit Cults

Andrew Alan Johnson

out and tie themselves via a link of kinship to the very sources of death, danger, and pollution to which they are subject (see Johnson 2012) . But Figure 1 Shrine of Grandmother Nak, Bangkok, Phra Khanong District Photograph © Andrew Alan Johnson

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Repaying the Debts of the Dead

Kinship, Microfinance, and Mortuary Practice on the Paraguayan Frontier

Caroline E. Schuster

between kinship, death, and indebtedness goes beyond analogy: collective debt is not simply ‘like’ a relationship of kinship. Instead, microcredit collective indebtedness offers a powerful context for people to grapple with broader questions of the human

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Finding a Place to Sit

How Qatari Women Combine Cultural and Kinship Capital in the Home Majlis

Rehenuma Asmi

to see creative ways in which Qatari women combined forms of capital, such as cultural capital or access to higher education, with ‘kinship capital’ or access to family ties in the space of the home majlis . This is seen in the situation above, where

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Replenishing Milk Sons

Changing Kinship Practices among the Sahrāwī, North Africa

Konstantina Isidoros

Sahrāwī refugee camps. In tandem, milk kinship, 2 customarily establishing a second set of kinship ties between milk relatives with similar incest taboos ( Héritier 1999 ; Van Gelder 2005 ) as blood, was also beginning to be influenced by the new social

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Women and Gender in Short Stories by Rabindranath Tagore

An Anthropological Introspection on Kinship and Family

Nandini Sen

This article examines female protagonists in Rabindranath Tagore’s stories and novellas – specifically Charu (A Broken Nest, 1901), Mrinal (The Wife’s Letter, 1914), Kamala (Musalmani, 1941), Anila (House Number 1, 1917), Chandara (Punishment, 1893) and Boshtomi (Devotee, 1916) – from a social anthropological viewpoint, focusing on gender and time-based kinship relations. Here, kinship is defined as an extension of familial relationships to the community (common ethnic-social life, locality and religion) in such a way as to achieve progressively higher levels of social integration and extensive social networks through marriage alliances and lines of descent. Studying how the characters placed the universality of family and kinship structures into question, I argue that parameters of kinship organisation need to be redefined, with plurality and difference as the basis of inquiry rather than universality.

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Capitalism, Kinship, and Fraud

The Case of Bernie Madoff

Sherry B. Ortner

Investment broker Bernie Madoff ran what is still considered the largest Ponzi scheme in history, defrauding thousands of investors over a 20-year period of more than $20 billion. He worked his game almost entirely through kinship connections—relatives, friends of relatives, and relatives of friends. The relationship between kinship and capitalism has drawn renewed attention by anthropologists, part of a broader effort to rethink capitalism not as a free-standing ‘economy’ but as deeply embedded in a wide range of social relations. In this article I use the Madoff case to illustrate, and develop further, several aspects of the kinship/capitalism connection. I also consider briefly the boundary between fraud and ‘legitimate’ capitalism, which many economic historians consider a fuzzy boundary at best.

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Morgan Clarke

Anthropological debates on kinship in the Middle East have centred on the 'problems' of patriparallel cousin marriage and milk kinship. A focus on Middle Eastern reactions to assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilisation allows a fresh perspective on the study of kinship in the region. My own research has investigated Islamic legal reactions to assisted reproductive technologies and the practice of assisted reproduction in Lebanon. Islamic legal reaction is diverse, as are the uses made of these techniques by non-specialist Muslims. Considerations of propriety and public reputation remain uppermost, although matters of kinship are debated and new patterns and ideologies of relatedness are potentially emerging.