The Anthropology of Kinship and Relatedness (L6069)

15 credits, Level 4

Spring teaching

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 on material from a wide range of ethnographic contexts to examine the ways in which societies organise and conceptualise human relationships. It is concerned with:

  • the transformation of social structures and processes
  • the connections between kin organisations and power in developing and postindustrial societies.

The module considers both accepted and novel ways in thinking about human kinship: how we become related through 'substance', emotion, place and technology, for example. It covers historical ground as well as the contemporary debates in the study of human relatedness.


50%: Lecture
50%: Seminar


100%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 24 hours of contact time and about 126 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: