Lineal and Collateral Kin

Having outlined a general set of symbols and a template for diagraming, we must now define and illustrate a few ways of classifying kin appropriate to anthropological analysis. The terms employed should be understood as "etic" categories, those used by anthropologists to describe and understand their data. They differ from "emic" classifications, which are specifically defined within a cultural context. Etic and emic ways of classifying kin may differ substantially as demonstrated in the previous discussion of how different cultures distinguish consanguineal from affinal kin. At this point the definitions and distinctions you will view are merely intended to provide an general overview of concepts that will be explained and illustrated more fully as you proceed though the subsequent sections.

The first distinction we shall make is between lineal kin and collateral kin.

Lineal and Collateral Kin
Figure 3: lineal vs 
collateral kin
Lineal Kin - ancestors or descendants
Collateral Kin - sibling branches

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© 1995 Brian Schwimmer
University of Manitoba
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