By David Murray Schneider
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Extra resources for American kinship: a cultural account --2nd ed.
A: I: Did she have a family? Yes. I know her husband is dead but she has some children. , A: Do you consider them related? I: I would if I knew them. I can't even think of their names now . We were not close to aunt XXXX. As I see. You feel you have to know someone name, for you to think of them as a relative? , or at least know their I: Yes. There has to be some personality there Otherwise if you go back far you and I are related and that's about as weak as you can get! A: Have they ever been related to you except at things like weddings and funerals and bar mitzvahs?
A: Then you have relatives by accident. Your father s sister had chil' dren, right? I: Yeah. ' aren t now. A: Do any of your female first cousins have husbands? Is Yes. Distance" is simply the statement of kinship in quantitative terms That is, on the one hand it is a measure of the degree to which two per. sons share common biogenetic substance and on the other hand it is a statement of the magnitude of the claim on diffuse enduring solidarity. " A relationship which is "close" is one where the claim is high; one which is "distant" or "far away" is one where the claim is smaller.
A relationship of marriage or a relationship in law" obtains when it is one of enduring, diffuse solidarity. This is stated in the marriage vows by the phrase . until death do us part. A relationship of enduring, diffuse solidarity with sexual intercourse as the legitimate and proper form of its expression is that between husband " " " m . If we turn now to some empirical generalizations drawn directly from the field materials, the operation of the rule in its various formulations can be seen clearly.
American kinship: a cultural account --2nd ed. by David Murray Schneider