By Janet Carsten
What's the influence on anthropology of modern experiences of reproductive applied sciences, gender, and the social building of technological know-how within the West? what's the value of public nervousness in regards to the family members to anthropology's analytic method? Janet Carsten offers an unique view of the prior, current, and way forward for kinship in anthropology as a way to be of curiosity to anthropologists in addition to to different social scientists.
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Extra info for After Kinship (New Departures in Anthropology)
In this way, Schneider opened up a whole ﬁeld of enquiry, which has been taken up more recently by a number of authors in studies of reproductive technologies, which I turn to in the following section. On the one hand, then, Schneider’s work could be taken to imply that the study of kinship had no future; on the other, by focusing on culture as a symbolic system, he could be seen as establishing a new tradition in the study of kinship. It now seems strange that American Kinship should have failed to take account of important sources of variation in how kinship in America is construed, such as gender, power, or ethnicity.
But what about actual experiences and practices of kinship? Are these really undergoing such profound change? Here the evidence is more equivocal. And this too is captured in the stories with which I began this chapter. When we look at the debates surrounding Diane Blood’s efforts to change the HFEA rulings, or rabbinical discussions on the impact of reproductive technology, we are confronted by what is at once exotic and familiar. The most recent ethnographic accounts suggest both that people express their concerns about technological developments in familiar idioms – for example, in terms of incest or adultery – and that they may imagine them in quite new and sometimes unexpected ways.
Pride of place was held by an enormous cast-iron kitchen range, an original feature when the house was built but long out of use. Apart from its decorative value, the range provided storage space for a motley collection of tools and kitchen equipment – baking trays, pruning sheers, and, most memorably, a pair of truly Van Goghian gardening shoes. Other idiosyncratic features of the kitchen included a wall-mounted display box, which had indicated to servants of an earlier time the room in which a bell had been rung for their attention.
After Kinship (New Departures in Anthropology) by Janet Carsten
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