Beyond Fitness and Nurture: The Kinship Paradox
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Beyond Fitness and Nurture: The Kinship Paradox


This paper builds on earlier analyses of primary data on kinship in Qatar. Its conceptualization centers kinship as a highly structured universal human phenomenon in the study of humankind.  As lived practices, kinship forms a bounded, identifiable domain that is distinguishable from other societal relations. Going beyond reducing kinship to fitness (biology) or nurture (culture study), analysis of primary ethnographic data gathered as part of a grant-funded field research project on kinship practices in Qatar, including suckling practices along with kinship by birth and by marriage, is presented to demonstrate how complex anomalies emerging at the level of kinship experience reveal in analysis properties of kinship as a transformational triadic structure, here proposed as a universal feature of kinship and a dynamic aspect of its structure.

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