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Culture, Creation, and Procreation
Concepts of Kinship in South Asian Practice
Edited by Monika Böck and Aparna Rao
336 pages, 1 map, 13 figs, 6 tables, bibliog, index
ISBN 978-1-57181-911-6 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (January 2001)
ISBN 978-1-57181-912-3 $34.95/£27.95 Pb Published (January 2001)
"I would advise everybody who is interested in new directions in anthropological theory on kinship to read this volume; they could find remarkable observations that would be useful for their own research." · L'Homme
"[This volume] offers a nuanced exploration of the complexities of the ideology and practice of kinship in this diverse region ... which will be especially useful for graduate students. It also has the potential to serve as a valuable resource for students and scholars investigating kinship outside of South Asia." · Folklore Bulletin
As reproduction is seen as central to kinship and the biological link as the primary bond between parents and their offspring, Western perceptions of kin relations are primarily determined by ideas about "consanguinity," "genealogical relations," and "genetic connections." Advocates of cultural constructivism have taken issue with a concept that puts so much stress on heredity as being severely biased by western ideas of kinship. Ethnosociologists in particular developed alternative systems using indigenous categories. This symbolic approach has, however, been rejected by some scholars as plagued by the problems of the analytical separation of ideology from practice, of largely overlooking relations of domination, and of ignoring the questions of shared knowledge and choice. This volume offers a corrective by discussing the constitution of kinship among different communities in South Asia and addressing the relationship between ideology and practice, cultural models, and individiual strategies.
Monika Böck is Lecturer at the Institut für Völkerkunde, University of Cologne.
Aparna Rao (1950-2005) was Research Associate,Department of Anthropology, Cologne University, Germany.
Subject: Anthropology (General) Gender Studies and Sexuality
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