A blood feud is a vendetta or prolonged series of retaliatory attacks between two families or groups of families, often arising from an incident such as the death of one person, the wounding of another, or the theft of livestock. The feud may be sparked by real or perceived slights and can last for years or even generations.
Blood feuds are most common in traditional societies that are based on kinship relations, such as tribal societies. They can also occur in more complex societies, such as those that are based on clans or castes. In such societies, the feud is often used as a way to enforce social norms and punish behaviour that is deemed to be unacceptable.
The consequences of a blood feud can be devastating, with both sides often engaging in acts of violence that can result in the deaths of many people. Blood feuds can also disrupt social order and lead to the displacement of entire communities.
Anthropologists have long studied blood feuds and their impact on social life, both from the perspective of the maintenance of social order and protection of traditions, and from the angle that they are a sign of social dysfunction and can lead to increased violence and instability.
Vendetta – a blood feud or prolonged series of retaliatory attacks.
Kinship – the relationship between people who are related by blood or marriage.
Tribal society – a social group that is based on kinship relations and has a shared culture and history.
Clan – a group of people who are related by blood or marriage.
Caste – a social group that is based on shared economic status or occupation.
Social norm – a rule or expectation of behaviour that is considered to be acceptable in a given society.
Violence – the use of physical force to injure or kill someone.
Displacement – the forced movement of people from their homes or communities.
Anthropologist – a scientist who studies human societies and cultures.
Dysfunction – a problem or abnormalities within a system.
Instability – the state of being unstable.
Glossary Terms starting with B
- Behaviourism – A Psychological Perspective of Learning through Conditioning
- Benedict, Ruth: The anthropologist who believed that cultures have personalities
- Big Man / Big Woman – A Person with Prestige and Influence in Melanesian Society
- Bilateral Kinship – Tracing Descent through both the Maternal and Paternal Line
- Biological Anthropology – The relationship between Biology and Sociocultural Systems
- Black Economy – Goods and Services Traded Outside the Formal Financial System
- Black Power – A Political Movement to empower black Americans in the US in the 1960s
- Blood Feud – A Prolonged Series of Retaliatory Attacks between Two Kinship Groups
- Boas, Franz: The Father of American Anthropology
- Body, Anthropology of the – The Study of how the Human Body is shaped by the Environment and Culture
- Bourgeoisie – The Capitalists Who Own the Means of Production
- Bride Capture – The Abduction of Women leading to Forced Marriage
- Brideprice, Bridewealth and Brideservice
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