Anthropology

The Anthropology of Kinship and Relatedness

Module code: L6069
Level 4
15 credits in spring teaching
Teaching method: Lecture, Seminar
Assessment modes: Essay

The study of human relatedness and kinship has been central to the history of British social anthropology. This module introduces you to classic and new debates in kinship studies. It draws upon material from a wide range of ethnographic contexts to examine the ways that societies organise and conceptualise human relationships. It is concerned with the transformation of social structures and processes as well as the connections between kin organisations and power in developing and post-industrial societies.

You will consider both accepted and more novel ways in thinking about human kinship – how we become related through 'substance', emotion, place and technology, for example. We cover both historical ground and contemporary debates in the study of human relatedness.

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the evolution of kinship theory in anthropology
  • Demonstrate an understanding of debates about kinship as biologically or culturally constructed
  • Demonstrate an ability to use anthropological methods in the analysis of kinship and other forms of relatedness
  • Show an appreciation of the ways in which concepts of kinship, family and relatedness relate to changing structures of power, politics and economic exchange