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Anthropological Perspectives on Kinship (Anthropology, Culture and Society) Paperback – 20 Oct 1996

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Anthropological Perspectives on Kinship (Anthropology, Culture and Society) + Small Places, Large Issues: An Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology (Anthropology, Culture and Society)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Pluto Press (20 Oct 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745309178
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745309170
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 14 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 567,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is so bad our own lecturer told us to ignore it when it came to our exams. It explains stuff in so little detail that you really need to do serious research on the side for it to be any way useful.

It doesn't explain concepts very clearly, nor does it give enough information for it to be useful for a beginner.

All in all, seriously don't waste your time unless you already have vast knowledge on the subject and won't need to do extra reading on the side for it to make sense.
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By Sophie on 27 Oct 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
good introduction to kinship studies. sometimes the book is a little complicated for a first year anthropology student but it gives many examples to explain the main concepts.
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Amazon.com: 2 reviews
Less comprehensive than title suggests 2 Jan 2011
By Scully - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a decent review of the main perspectives on kinship theory within anthropology, but left me feeling a bit short-changed. The title suggests a comprehensive review, yet the book is devoid of references to contemporary evolutionary research on kinship and glosses over many of the salient debates even within sociocultural anthropology (e.g., definitions of marriage and presumed universality). The book's main point is to advance a culturally-specific view of kinship studies - one that borders on obscuring the topic toward oblivion and one that denies virtually any role of "true" genealogy.

As the previous reviewer commented, this book is definitely not suitable as an introductory text, but several portions are worth reading if one is already fairly familiar with kinship terminology and theory. The book does a nice job of reviewing several specific issues (e.g., segmentary lineages and other types of descent) rather in depth and provides a nice list of references for readers who wish to expand the scope of their familiarity with the subject. It also covers to some extent the recent literature on new reproductive technologies, etc., but does not do so systematically, choosing instead to stick to a Schneiderian-type criticism of modern kinship studies.

Though this review is not glowing, I still think the book is worth skimming - it addresses a number of issues that were and are important to kinship anthropologists and brings up a number of well-known examples to illustrate. It would be highly esoteric to a reader lacking familiarity with kinship and is somewhat so even to the familiar reader.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Kinship without diagrams 27 Dec 2008
By Ben Franklin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a most remarkable discussion of kinship, remarkable mostly for the complete absence of diagrams. Yet Holy pulls it off.

That said, I would be reluctant to make this the main text of an undergraduate course. It is sharp, insightful, and clear, but what it has to say will be more meaningful to someone who already has a good understanding of the subject matter. It might better be used as either an independent study text for an undergraduate already versed in kinship, or as one element in a graduate seminar.

Holy manages to find novel angles and insights on a many topics, and he led me to rethink some of the fundamentals of the topic. A pleasant, worthwhile read.
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