Cognatic kinship is a system in which the descent of individuals is considered through both their mother and father. This is in contrast to patrilineal or matrilineal kinship systems, in which individuals are only related to those within their paternal (patrilineal) or maternal (matrilineal) family tree.
Cognatic kinship is also referred to as bilateral kinship, because it recognises both the mother and father’s side of the family. It is the most common type of kinship system in the world, and is found in societies across Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas.
Cognatic kinship systems can be further divided into two types: consanguineal and affinal. Consanguineal kinship is based on blood relations, while affinal kinship is based on marriage relations.
What are the benefits of cognatic kinship?
There are a few key benefits to cognatic kinship systems. First, they allow for a more inclusive view of family relations. Second, they provide more flexibility in terms of who can be considered kin. And third, they tend to be more stable over time than other kinship systems.
One of the main benefits of cognatic kinship is that it allows for a more inclusive view of family relations. Because cognatic kinship includes both blood and marriage relations, it provides a broader view of who can be considered kin. This can be beneficial in societies where people are more likely to move around and form new relationships.
Cognatic kinship also provides more flexibility in terms of who can be considered kin. In a patrilineal or matrilineal system, individuals can only be related to those within their own lineage. But in a cognatic system, individuals can be related to anyone within their mother’s or father’s family. This can be helpful in societies where people are more likely to marry outside of their own lineage.
Finally, cognatic kinship systems tend to be more stable over time than other kinship systems. This is because they are not based on a single line of descent. If one line of descent is lost, individuals can still trace their family relations through other lines.
Kinship: The system of social relationships that define who is considered to be family.
Patrilineal kinship: A system in which descent is traced from the father’s side.
Matrilineal kinship: A system in which descent is traced from the mother’s side.
Lineage: A group of individuals who share a common ancestor.
Descent: The process of tracing one’s ancestry back to a common ancestor.
Affinal kinship: A system in which individuals are considered to be kin through marriage relations.
Consanguineal kinship: A system in which individuals are considered to be kin through blood relations.
Glossary Terms starting with C
- Capital – The Physical or Financial Resources required for Production
- Capitalism – An Economic System in which the Means of Production are Privately Owned
- Cargo Cult – Religious Movements claiming to obtain material goods (cargo) for indigenous people
- Cash Crops – Crops grown for Sale
- Caste – Social Groups Ranked Hierarchically by Birth, Marriage or Occupation
- Caudillismo – A Form of Dictatorship commonly associated with Latin America
- City, Anthropology of the – The Study of Urban Spaces and Culture
- Class Consciousness – When a Class recognises its Common Interests
- Cline – The Study of the Gradual Change in a Population over Time
- Cognatic Kinship – Tracing Descent through both the Maternal and Paternal line
- Cognitive Anthropology – The Study of How Culture impacts Human Cognition
- Colonialism – Acquiring and Maintaining Control over another Country or Territory
- Commensality – The Social Practice of Eating Together
- Concubinage – A Formalised Sexual Relationship between a Man and Women which is not equal to Marriage
- Consanguinity – The State of being related to someone by descent from a common ancestor
- Conscience Collective – The Shared Beliefs and Values of a Group or Society
- Conspicuous Consumption – Spending Money on Luxury Goods to Display Wealth and Status
- Contagious Magic – Items that have been in contact remain connected
- Creole Language – An Amalgam of the Colonial Language and Indigenous Language
- Cultural Baseline – The State of a Culture Before it Comes into Contact with Another Culture
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