How Does Life in Exile Influence Kinship?

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This essay will look at different views on how living in exile can affect kinship. Living in exile refers to individuals who live away from their native country. A person may life in exile through force or self decision. Kinship is a little harder to explain. A general definition of kinship refers to individuals who are 'genealogically related to each other' (Holy, 1996:40), for example, family. Genealogical relations can be through marriage or descent. Holy (1996) also describes descent as a relationship through a genealogical tie to any ancestor. In other words, related by birth. This is described as the consanguineous tie to kinship. Individuals who are related through marriage are also described as affine ties to kinship. Kinship can often also be linked to lineages as they can be seen as similar but there are, in fact, some differences. Lineal bonds are obtained from relatives who are the same blood, therefore, all members of the lineal bond are evidently descended from a familiar ancestor or ancestress. Kin then contains two or more lineages (Parkin and Stone, 2004:43). When an individual refers to their kin, it can have different meanings as a group can be divided into unilateral divisions. This basically means that some members are lineages and some are clans. A clan can be understood as 'unilateral exogamous group'. (Parkin and Stone, 2004:43) Marriage is an important aspect in kinship. Marriage is normally understood as the linking of men and women, but this may not always be the case. An example of this is Nuer where marriages can occur between women. There are three different types of marriages; monogamy, where a man marries a woman; polygyny, where man can marry two or more women, and polyandry, where a woman can... ... middle of paper ... ...ortant to them to maintain their identities (McGranahan, 2004:757-8). In conclusion, forming kinship includes many different things. There are different type of relative bonds and different types of marriages which all make up someone's kin. Two main, different cultures have been looked at, Tamils and Tibetans, and it is seen that both are severely different when it comes to kinship practices. This is mainly seen through the marital ties both cultures undergo. It was looked at how these ties and other kinship practices are influenced and affected by the individuals living in exile. In both cases it can be seen that it is a lot harder for the individuals within the society to continue the kinship practices the way they are used to, yet this does not stop them as shown that Tamils take up several jobs and Tibetans still try to maintain their traditional identities.

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