Other Free Encyclopedias » Marriage and Family Encyclopedia » Relatives & Extended Family

Cousins

family kin societies children relatives


English-speakers classify up to four distinct groups of relatives as cousins. The children of a set of brothers and sisters form the primary category: they are first cousins to each other. More distantly related kin of one's own generation (collateral kin) form the second category. The grandchildren of your grandparents' siblings are your second cousins; the great-grandchildren of your great-grandparents' siblings are your third cousins; and so forth. (To put this in another way, children of first cousins stand as second cousins to each other while grandchildren stand as third cousins). The third and potentially broadest category includes the children of aunts, uncles, and cousins who belong to a different generation from one's self. The child of your second cousin, for instance, is technically your second cousin-once-removed, as you are to her (the terms are reciprocal). Finally, some English-speakers refer to the cousins of spouses and other in-laws as cousin, although these people are not technically kin. It is important to note that people do not use these categories consistently, especially with more distant kin.

The categorical expansiveness of cousin in English and other European languages rests on a distinction between the nuclear family and more distant kin. This kind of kinship terminology system is technically known as Eskimo and is also found in small hunter-gatherer groups that lack strong descent groups. Other societies classify kin differently. Hawaiian terminology, found in Polynesia and many West African cultures, provides the simplest variation. All relatives are classified according to generation. There is no distinct term for cousin in the English sense. Collateral relatives are referred to by the same terms as brother and sister (Keesing 1975).

Most societies with unilineal descent systems make a finer distinction between cross and parallel relatives. Parallel cousins include the children of one's father's brothers and mother's sisters. In general, one refers to parallel cousins by the same terms as one's own siblings and to their parents as father and mother. Cross-cousins include the children of one's father's sisters and mother's brothers. They receive a special term, as do their parents and children, indicating their separation from the immediate family. A range of societies in the Americas, Oceania, and southern Asia prefer marriage between cross-cousins. This kind of marriage forms strong and lasting alliances between the groups exchanging spouses, even when, as is often the case, the marriage is between classificatory cross-cousins—that is, people who share at best a distant genealogical relationship but who refer to each other as cross-cousins (Lévi-Straus 1969). A few Middle Eastern societies prefer marriages between parallel cousins, a pattern that enforces marriage within a descent group (Holy 1996).

Cousins often enjoy warm relationships, even in societies with weak extended family systems. Societies differ in the degree to which closely related cousins are regarded as immediate family and thus subject to the incest taboo. The U.S. rock-and-roll star Jerry Lee Lewis was widely condemned in 1958 for marrying a second cousin (and criticized also because she was only thirteen at the time). On the other hand, such respected figures as Charles Darwin and Queen Victoria married first cousins. Most U.S. states ban or place severe restrictions on first cousin marriages, but such marriages are legal in Canada and Europe (Ottenheimer 1996).

Bibliography

Holy, L. (1996). Anthropological Perspectives on Kinship. London: Pluto Press.

Keesing, R. M. (1975). Kin Groups and Social Structure. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.

Lévi-Straus, C. (1969). The Elementary Structures of Kinship. London: Eyre and Spottiswood.

Ottenheimer, M. (1996). Forbidden Relatives: The American Myth of Cousin Marriage. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

JOHN BARKER

Fictive Kinship [next] [back] Husband

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

Thanks for More information Export5th in packing moving services
http://www.export5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-mumbai/
http://www.export5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-hyderabad/
http://www.export5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-pune/
http://www.export5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-bangalore/

Vote down Vote up

over 4 years ago

including graphics and text. Learn to create new documents, create text, manage the color model, and use layers to add variety and control. This course is designed to make l
Target Promo Codes

Vote down Vote up

over 3 years ago

It is important to note that people do not use these categories consistently, especially with more distant kin.raspberry ketone plus reviews

Vote down Vote up

almost 4 years ago

The third and potentially broadest category includes the children of aunts, uncles, and cousins who belong to a different generation from one's self. Tayte

Vote down Vote up

about 2 years ago

http://www.the5th.in/
http://www.the5th.in/packers-and-movers-hyderabad.html
http://www.the5th.in/packers-and-movers-chennai.html
http://www.the5th.in/packers-and-movers-delhi.html
http://www.the5th.in/packers-and-movers-noida.html
http://www.the5th.in/packers-and-movers-faridabad.html
http://www.the5th.in/packers-and-movers-ghaziabad.html

Vote down Vote up

about 2 years ago

http://www.adword.co.in/
packers and movers bangalore or http://www.adword.co.in/packers-and-movers-bangalore/
packers and movers hyderabad or http://www.adword.co.in/packers-and-movers-hyderabad/

packers and movers delhi or http://www.adword.co.in/packers-and-movers-delhi/
packers and movers gurgaon or http://www.adword.co.in/packers-and-movers-gurgaon/

packers and movers mumbai or http://www.adword.co.in/packers-and-movers-mumbai/
packers and movers pune or http://www.adword.co.in/packers-and-movers-pune/

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

Thanks for mour information visit:
http://top3th.co.in/packers-and-movers-gurgaon/
http://top3th.co.in/packers-and-movers-delhi/
http://top3th.co.in/packers-and-movers-navi-mumbai/
http://top3th.co.in/packers-and-movers-thane/
http://top3th.co.in/

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

Thanks More for information Visit:
http://www.export5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-gurgaon/
http://www.export5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-delhi/
http://www.export5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-noida/
http://www.export5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-chennai/
http://www.export5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-dwarka/
http://www.export5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-ghaziabad/
http://www.export5th.in/packers-and-movers-in-faridabad/

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago


Thanks for information The5th company top services for packing and moving services in India
http://www.the5th.in/packers-and-movers-gurgaon.html
http://www.the5th.in/packers-and-movers-bangalore.html
http://www.the5th.in/packers-and-movers-pune.html
http://www.the5th.in/packers-and-movers-mumbai.html

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

Thanks for More information Top 3th packing and moving services India
http://3th.co.in/packers-and-movers-delhi/
http://3th.co.in/packers-and-movers-faridabad/
http://3th.co.in/packers-and-movers-ghaziabad/
http://3th.co.in/packers-and-movers-noida/

Vote down Vote up

almost 4 years ago

The third and potentially broadest category includes the children of aunts, uncles, and cousins who belong to a different generation from one's self. garcinia cambogia capsules

Vote down Vote up

almost 4 years ago

The child of your second cousin, for instance, is technically your second cousin-once-removed, as you are to her (the terms are reciprocal). Finally, some English-speakers refer to the cousins of spouses and other in-laws as cousin, although these people are not technically kin. Derek

Vote down Vote up

almost 4 years ago

I would certainly go again and recommend it to anyone operating in this field.

Vote down Vote up

almost 4 years ago

The children of a set of brothers and sisters form the primary category: they are first cousins to each other.

Vote down Vote up

about 4 years ago

great reading, thank you for sharing this, hoping to read more soon lehigh valley jewelers

Vote down Vote up

over 4 years ago

including graphics and text. Learn to create new documents, create text, manage the color model, and use layers to add variety and control. This course is designed to make l
Maurices Promo Codes

Vote down Vote up

over 4 years ago

Hmm, I have 4 cousins myself. Never really felt close to my second or third cousins though.
cuff links

Vote down Vote up

almost 5 years ago

including graphics and text. Learn to create new documents, create text, manage the color model, and use layers to add variety and control. This course is designed to make l
Buy Dissertation Online