This essay discusses the shift that kinship has undergone from being about determining/ reflecting social structure to shaping how people come to care for each other and consider themselves related in everyday practice. I will use the Malays in Palau Langkawi as an example of how kinship structures/practices has challenged Western assumption of how people are related. Also how we should understand kinship today.
Carstens (1995) explains in her article: the substance of kinship and the heat of the hearth: feeding, personhood, and relatedness among Malays in Palau Langkawi how their ideas of kinship challenge the Western notion of what kinship/relateness. In Langkawi, ideas about kinship are conveyed in terms of reproducing, nourishment and the obtaining of substance and are not based on any difference between biological facts and sociality facts. The house in this society plays a significant role. A house may consist of many different couples but only one “hearth”. These couple cook and eat together. Females spent much of their time at home while the men are out fishing. House are also associated with children, a house only becomes established when a couple have at least one child. Older brothers sometimes have loving relationships with younger sisters. This has an important model connection between husband and wife. A married couple normally call each other “older brother” of “older sister”. Marriage is formulated be means of sibling ship. In western society marring one brother of sister is taboo/incest but in this culture if an in-marrying man marry a woman who’s older brother is unmarried, this man is said to be violating the honour of the house.
According Borneman (2001:30) marriages is more important today as the right to f...
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...ical base undermines the search for claims about kinship that generalise abbot societies and their relationship to one another and vice versa
The embrace of interdisciplinary approaches to kinship the study of kinship is inherently indisiplinary informed by and often part of several disciplines a well as multidisciplinary fields such as cultural studies, homosexuals studies, science family and relious study
The rejection of kinship as a specifically anthropological concept[t although kinship has been mainstream of anthropological study for much of the history of the discipline there is nothing special about kinship that justifies that status or that gives anthropologist a privilege status in the study of kinship
Kinship and the study of it has been based on the assumption that it created separation by dividing those who are not related by birth (Ladislave 1996:143).