Saturday, January 7, 2012

Classification of Kinship System

Levi Strauss classifies kinship systems under :

Elementary Structures and Complex Structures
Elementary Structures are defined as those systems in which the nomenclature permits the immediate determination of the circle of kin and that of affines that is those systems which prescribe marriage with a certain type of relative and are hence based on closed exchange.

Complex Structures are those systems which limit themselves to defining the circle of relatives and leave the determination of the spouse to other mechanisms and are based on open exchange.

Exchange and alliance is the integrative mechanism of the elementary structures of kinship.Once an alliance has been formed between groups it is perpetuated.This has the effect of laying down the category of persons into which one must marry. Levi Strauss views cross-cousin marriage as the most elementary form of exchange.

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