I. 2.5.1 Consanguinity and Affinity

Consanguinity and Affinity



  1. Fundamental aspect of human life
  2. Links individuals across generations
  3. Provides basic structure to individuals in all society
  4. Connects individuals within a single generation
  5. Defines the place of individual in specific relationship
  6. Labels individual
  7. Facilitates communication and exchange of ideas
  8. Defines roles of individual in a society
  9. Defines the rules/norms of society like marriage, inheritance, political organisation, economic activity
  10. Provides structure and defines functions of society

Kinship is relationship based on descent and alliance i.e. culturally and socially defined bond based on blood ties and marriage i.e. biological and social factors. Kinship is a system of social relationship through which an individual is associated with other individuals. It is cultural universal, fundamental to human relationship derived from consanguineal and affinal bonds.

Kinship relations lead to formations of certain groupings in the society such as family, lineage, clan, phratry, moiety, kindred. These groups are essential for the functioning of the society.

Kinship is defined by the ties of blood and marriage.

  1. Consanguinity- relationship based on ties of blood
  2. Affinity – relationship based on marriages

1. Descent theorist- mostly British social anthropologist like W.H.R Rivers, Redcliff Brown, Evans Pritchard, Mayers Fortes

Rivers- “ social recognition of biological ties”

Rad Cliff Brown- “kinship is social relationship based on descent”

Evans Pritchard, Mayers Fortes- “kinship is cultural defined principle of consanguinity

2. Alliance theorist- mostly French and Americal cultural anthropologist like Claude Levi-Strauss, Louis Dumont, Murdock, Schneider, Kroeber

Claude Levi-Strauss, Louis Dumont- “totality of relationship governed by consanguinity and affinity”

  1. Structural aspect of kinship- based on Consanguinity and Affinity ie birth and marriage.
  2. Functional aspect of kinship- kinship defines social organisation, political and economic action and social behaviour .

Morgan called Kinship “Idiom of social existence”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s