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Open Access Publications from the University of California

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The journal Kinship offers a scholarly site for research publications dedicated to the ethnography and theory of kinship and covers current systematic efforts using new data or new ideas, including the use of these data and ideas to revisit and rework earlier assumptions in the field. It covers a wide range of kinship-based cross-cultural practices ranging from incest to marriage, to avoidances, to kin terms, to succession, to contemporary forms of motherhood, fatherhood, and family, and more. The journal Kinship, as the design of the front cover seeks to convey, is dedicated to the study of kinship in all of its facets, is international in scope, and will publish original work in English, though publications in other languages will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Volume 1, Issue 1, 2021

Issue cover

Articles

General Introduction

The journal, Kinship, is dedicated to the study of kinship in all of its facets, is international in scope and will publish original work in English, though publications in other languages, as is the case in this issue, will be considered on a case-by-case basis. In this issue of Kinship, there are two articles which reflect the nature of kinship research in both its more traditional format with focus on the social context of kinship relations and in a cross-disciplinary attempt to find a common ground between kinship as it is understood from a social and cultural perspective with kinship as it is understood from a biological perspective.

Genealogía de un pueblo fantasma: parentesco, matrifocalidad y adopción en Ayquina-Turi

Este trabajo propone una primera aproximación al parentesco y la organización social de la Comunidad Indígena Atacameña de Ayquina-Turi (provincia del Loa, segunda región de Antofagasta) a partir de los resultados de una encuesta genealógica realizada in situ y en la ciudad de Calama. La discusión se desarrolla en cuatro pasos: primero, la introducción del escenario en el que se realizó la investigación etnográfica; segundo, la presentación del problema que inspiró su realización; tercero, la exposición de la información de base y cuarto, el análisis de la misma. A diferencia de lo que ocurre con otras comunidades campesino-indígenas de los Andes centrales y meridionales, se observa una sostenida tendencia hacia la conformación de unidades familiares matrifocales relacionadas con una práctica generalizada de adopción intrafamiliar que encuentra ecos etnográficos significativos en otros sitios de América del Sur, en particular la Guyana Británica.

 

Genealogy of a Ghost Town: Kinship, Matrifocality and Adoption in Ayquina-Turi

This paper is a first approach to the kinship and social organization of the Ayquina-Turi Atacama Indigenous Community (El Loa Province, Antofagasta II Region) from the perspective of a genealogical inquest made in situ and in the city of Calama. The discussion unfolds in four stages: first, an introduction to the setting where the ethnographic inquiry was conducted; second, the presentation of the problem which inspired the research; third, the exposition of the baseline information; and fourth, the analysis thereof. In contrast to the current situation in other peasant indigenous communities in the Central and Southern Andes, it is possible to identify a strong tendency towards the conformation of matrifocal family units related to a generalized practice of intrafamily adoption, which finds ethnographic echoes reverberating in other places of South America, namely British Guiana.

Human Kinship and the Reproduction of Sameness

Nobody doubts that human kinship has something to do with biology and reproduction and, at the same time, biology and reproduction are clearly insufficient to explain it. The unexplained part of human kinship by the biology of human reproduction is what anthropologists call ‘social’ kinship. Whereas the biology of human kinship does not seem to differ in any significant way from that of any sexually reproducing species, it is unclear how that social kinship should be accounted for, specifically, how it should be related with its biological counterpart. The purpose of this text is to suggest a possible solution to this time-honored theoretical controversy in anthropology. My approach is based on Hamilton’s theory of inclusive fitness and its development and formalization by means of the Price equation. My proposal shall be that it is the concept of sameness that which makes both biological and social kinship amenable to the same type of analysis.

Research Activity Report: South America

This report focuses in particular on a specific project hosted by two distinguished academic centers in Brazil, namely University of São Paulo and the Federal University of Santa Catarina, to explore Amerindian kinship networks and ‘gift’ circulation, by a team of anthropologists and computer scientists from Brazil, Argentina and Peru.