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Kinship and descent

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Kinship and Descent

A descent group is a social group whose members claim common ancestry. With matrilineal descent individuals belong to their mother's descent group. With patrilineal descent, individuals belong to their father's descent group.

A lineage is a descent group who can demonstrate their common descent from an apical ancestor.

A clan is a descent group who claims common descent from an apical ancestor but cannot demonstrate it (stipulated descent).

When a clan's apical ancestor is nonhuman, it is called a totem.

The nuclear family consists of a couple and their children. The nuclear family is ego-centered and impermanent, while descent groups are permanent (lasting beyond the lifespans of individual constituents) and reckoned according to a single ancestor.

Kinship calculation is any systemic method for reckoning kin relations. Kinship terminologies are native taxonomies, not developed by anthropologists.

see also, Family

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