Kinship

Attachments

Kinship Systems

Charting and Understanding

Kinship Systems from

Around the World

© 2019 Dr. Amy C. Kowal

Types of Kinship Systems

Bilateral Descent

American traditional descent

Unilineal Descent

Patrilineal

Americans traditionally observed patrilineal naming system (acquire father’s surname)

Matrilineal

Ambilineal Descent

Individual chooses line of descent by generation

Parallel Descent

Men are patrilineal

Women are matrilineal

© 2019 Dr. Amy C. Kowal

Unilineal Kinship Systems
Which is patrilineal? Matrilineal?

© 2019 Dr. Amy C. Kowal

Dr. Kowal’s Kinship Chart

© 2019 Dr. Amy C. Kowal

Dr. Kowal’s Kinship Group

Dr. Kowal is married and has 2 sons.

Father is alive; Mother is deceased

She has 2 brothers

#1 is married and has 1 son and 1 daughter

The daughter is married and has 1 daughter

#2 is married to a divorcee with 1 daughter and 2 sons from previous marriage

Daughter had female partner but now is divorced. They have twin sons.

1 son is married with 1 son and 1 daughter

1 son is married with 2 sons

Matrilineal Kin: Dr. K, her mother, her 2 brothers, her 2 sons

Patrilineal Kin: Dr. K,, her father, her 2 brothers, #1 brother and his son and daughter

© 2019 Dr. Amy C. Kowal

Discussion 4
Exercise – Draw your own chart answer questions above

Symbols

∆ – male

๐ – female

□ – male or female

= – marriage bond

l – descent bond

− – codescent bond (sibling/twin)

≠ – divorced

X – dead

 or ● – ego

… – fictive kin (one method to use)

Draw 3 generations minimum

If you are matrilineal, who would be in your kinship group? Circle all of your matrilineal relatives.

Draw a square around your patrilineal relatives.

Who is in a bilateral kinship group?

Tip: use pencil, turn paper to horizontal

© 2019 Dr. Amy C. Kowal

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