What are the Important Elements of Kinship System

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 03:13 -- Umar Farooq

Important Elements of Kinship System

Following are the important elements of kinship system.

  1. Elementary Family: Elementary family is a unit of social structure through which kinship system is build up. It consist of a man, his wife and children. The elementary family creates the following three types of relations.

    1. Relations between husband & wife.
    2. Relations between parents & children.
    3. Relations between the children of the same parents.
  2. Elementary Family Relations: In a kinship system there are so many elementary families which. Constitutes different orders of relations. These relations are as under.
  • 1st order Relations: These are there relations which exists among the close family members of an elementary family. e.g. parents & children.
  • 2nd order Relations: These relations found among the members of two elementary families which are combined, e.g. relations with father’s brothers, mother’s sisters etc.
  • Compound Family: Compound family is a form of elementary family with common members within that elementary family. It is the type of joint family system e.g. in polygynous family, my husband has two or more wives with their children.
  • Genealogical Relations: Genealogical relations are more important in kinship system. These are the relations exists among the members in the result of joining elementary families. These relations may be of various types, e.g. narrow, wider and very wide.
  • Duties and Rights: Kinship system include duties and rights of individuals towards each other, which are determined by kinship terminology.
  • Social Usages: relations among the members are described by social usages which are found during social contacts among these individuals.
  • Ancestor Worship: Ancestor worship is a part of kinship, it is the relations of living persons with their deceased people. It brings the relations of living persons very close to one another.
  • Definite Social Groups: the kinship system may include various social groups of unilateral groups. These are the lineage, clan, kindred and moieties.
  • Clan: Clan is also a part of kinship system. It is a large family considered as a small tribe. Clan can be divided into small groups called moieties.
  • Terminology: The nomenclature and classification which can be used in kinship system is different from society to society. The terminology which is used in this classification denotes the relations between two persons in a specific family or group. So, kinship system include various types of terminologies for different societies recognized the individuals of that society and their relations.

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