What Kinship Means to Different People Essay example

What Kinship Means to Different People Essay example

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When Samantha Rose thinks about kinship, she thinks about the people in her life who are biologically related to her. For her, this is the only essential part in defining who is considered part of her kin and who is not. Additional factors like spending time together and supporting one another emotionally and financially are simply expected from one another and do not play a role in determining who is kin. . However, as Samantha and I worked on constructing her kinship chart, Samantha included a single individual as kin who is not biologically related to her. This individual turned out to be an old childhood friend from kindergarten named Susan Saleh who, in Samantha’s eyes at least, is part of her kinship due to the strong bond they have developed with each other over the years. Through the course of this essay, I will examine her specific kinship network in order to gain a better understanding of what kinship means to different people and how it compares to a generalized American idea of kinship.
To begin with, Samantha’s kinship includes 1 brother, 1 mom, 1 dad, 5 cousins, 5 aunts, 3 uncles, 1 grandma, and 1 grandpa. She refers to them using this descriptive system because she grew up in the United States where a modified descriptive system, called the Euro-American system, is most commonly used (Delaney 2004:195). As we began creating her kinship chart, she told me that her mom’s family all resides within five miles of where she currently lives, so they often see one another for birthday events or planned family get-togethers. Her father’s side resides in the Midwest and Samantha has only visited them a couple of times in her life. Regardless of the fact that she has more contact with her mother’s side, she considers

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...twork, males have considerably more authority than females. Women in her kinship network are supervised and only permitted to live a certain way of life that keeps to the traditional Filipino customs the males in her family impose. For example, doing housework, taking care of the children.
In all, while Samantha’s kinship network is based on people that are biologically related to her, the appearance of her friend Susan in her network signifies that kinship does not solely have to be based on biological ties, but can also include a very close friend. Indeed, kinship networks are growing and the terms necessary to qualify as kin are developing as people are affected by multiple perspectives, none of which are wrong, about what kinship should be based on depending on the cultures and environmental influences people experience throughout their lives.

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