Download After Kinship (New Departures in Anthropology) by Janet Carsten PDF

By Janet Carsten

What's the effect on anthropology of contemporary stories of reproductive applied sciences, gender, and the social building of technological know-how within the West? what's the importance of public nervousness concerning the kin to anthropology's analytic technique? Janet Carsten offers an unique view of the earlier, current, and way forward for kinship in anthropology with a view to be of curiosity to anthropologists in addition to to different social scientists.

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Some of these ideas and associations may seem familiar to European readers, but they are replicated in different forms in non-European contexts. In their ethnography of Colombia, Stephen Gudeman and Alberto Rivera (1990) show how the house underlies an indigenous model of the economy. Here food cooked in the household hearth is central in providing the “force” or “strength” of the workers of the house, enabling them to engage with the land and to produce the food that guarantees the viability and productivity of houses.

My aim, however, is not to suggest further analytic refinements or separations, or to contribute to the many arguments that have been made for the social construction of sexual difference. I suggest instead that by reintegrating gender, bodies, and kinship, we might find a way of including so-called biological processes as part of what anthropologists study when they study kinship. In Chapter 4 I turn to anthropological studies of what constitutes a “person” – in terms of moral and spiritual qualities, and of connections to 27 After Kinship other persons.

The most sacred of all processes involving the house hearth in the Alto Minho region is the making of bread. Bread is food par excellence, the source of both physical and spiritual sustenance. It plays a special role in Christian symbolism, and this lends its production and consumption in the house a sacred aspect. Not surprisingly, bread-making is a particularly ritualized form of cooking. The receptacle for kneading and rising the dough, the maciera, must be kept ritually clean. Each household should produce its own bread, and the process is strongly linked to sexual reproduction.

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