Why Schneiderian Kinship Studies Have It All Wrong
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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Why Schneiderian Kinship Studies Have It All Wrong

  • Author(s): Shapiro, Warren
  • et al.
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License

Followers of David Schneider regularly claim that kinship in one or another community is not based upon native procreative notions. This claim has been shown to be wrong in several cases. But early childhood adoption might be thought to pose a special challenge to these correctives, because, unlike kinship notions established later in life, it draws upon the decided tendency of the very young to attach themselves to adult caretakers regardless of the presence or absence of a procreative connexion. Analysis of three well-known ethnographic cases suggests, however, that even here native ideas concerning procreation are semantically primary.

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