School: Social Sciences
Academic Unit: Social Anthropology and History
Level of studies: Undergraduate
Course code: SA-120 Semester: 2st
Course Title: Anthropology of Kinship
Independent teaching activities Weekly teaching hours Credits
Lectures 3 5
Course type: General Background, Compulsory course
Prerequisite courses: None
Language of instruction and examinations: Greek
Is the course offered to erasmus students: YES (in English)
Course website (Url):


    Learning outcomes: Along the lines of this course, we attempt to acquaint students with the most
    fundamental anthropological theories of kinship and to grasp some of its basic notions. More specifically, we examine the theory of descent theory and alliance theory, both of which construe kinship as an holistic manner of social construction, and we also look into the concepts of descent, alliance, incest, exogamy, dowry, family settlement and family household. We also probe into the theory of practice, the symbolic approach, and those feminist perspectives which propose the complementary study of kinship and social gender, that is those theoretical approaches which have questioned older anthropological theories over kinship, while, at the same time, paving the way for the emergence of recent disseminations of kinship as a matter of choice rather than a natural factor. Special attention will be given to new reproduction technologies and new forms of family relations and
    cohabitation that have challenged the notion of “biological kinship relations”, and changed our views about “what makes one a relative”.
    By the end of the course students should be capable to:  Have an adequate knowledge of one of the most important anthropological fields in terms of theoretical analysis and ethnographic description
     Understand the various ways in which kinship and family relations are
    perceived and conceptualized in different societies and cultures
     Recognize the interrelation among kinship relations and wider social
    relations in different cultural contexts
     Analyze recent kinship relations as an effect of technological changes and
    social transformations

    General Competences: 
    Working independently
    Production of new research ideas
    Respect for difference and multiculturalism
    Showing social, professional and ethical responsibility and sensitivity to
    gender issues
    Criticism and self-criticism
    Production of free, creative and inductive thinking

    (3) SYLLABUS

    1. Introduction
    2. What is kinship?
    3. The initial anthropological encounter with kinship. Victorian anthropologists and
    their interest in kinship. “Patriarchy” and “Matriarchy”
    4. Kinship terms, genealogical diagram, and the genealogical method of W.H.R.
    5. “Descent theory” or the “theory of lineal descent groups”
    6. Incest, exchange, alliance. Claude Levi Strauss and “alliance theory”
    7. Family and household
    8. The symbolic approach of David Schneider and the impact of feminist
    9. Motherhood, fatherhood, reproduction
    10. Adoption
    11. “Families of descent” / “Families we choose”
    12. Assisted reproduction technologies
    13. “New biologies”, “new relations”: Nature, culture, kinship


    Delivery: Face-to face
    Use of information and communications technology : Use of the educational platform open e class
    Teaching methods:  Activity Semester workload
    Lectures 39
    Study and analysis of
    Independent study 34
    Course total: 125
    Student performance evaluation: Language of evaluation: Greek
    Method of evaluation: Final written exams – combination of short-term answers and openended questions
    Evaluation procedure is stated on the e-class platform and is explained to students at the beginning of the exam


    Suggested bibliography:
    Καλπουρτζή, Εύα. 2001. Συγγενικές Σχέσεις και Στρατηγικές Ανταλλαγών. Το Παράδειγμα της Νάξου το 17ο αι. Ελληνικά Γράμματα: Αθήνα
    Καντσά, Βενετία (επιμ.) 2013 Η μητρότητα στο προσκήνιο. Σύγχρονες έρευνες στην ελληνική εθνογραφία. Εκδ. Αλεξάνδρεια: Αθήνα
    Καυταντζόγλου, Ρωξάνη (επιμ.) 1996. Οικογένειες του Παρελθόντος. Μορφές Οικιακής Οργάνωσης στην Ευρώπη και τα Βαλκάνια.. Αλεξάνδρεια: Αθήνα
    Kuper, Adam. 2006 [α’ έκδοση 1988, β’ έκδοση 2005]. Η επανεπινόηση της πρωτόγονης κοινωνίας. Μεταμορφώσεις ενός μύθου. Εκδ. Αλεξάνδρεια: Αθήνα.
    Sahlins, Marshall (2014) Τι είναι (και τι δεν είναι) η συγγένεια, Αθήνα, Εκδόσεις του Εικοστού
    Strathern, Marilyn. 2008 [1992].Αναπαράγοντας το μέλλον. Ανθρωπολογία, συγγένεια και νέες τεχνολογίες αναπαραγωγής. Αθήνα: Εκδ. Ελληνικά Γράμματα
    Τουντασάκη, Ειρήνη 2008 Ανθρωπολογικές θεωρήσεις της συγγένειας κατά τον 20ο αι. Αθήνα: Εκδ. Ελληνικά Γράμματα
    Vernier, Bernard. 2001. Η Κοινωνική Γένεση των Αισθημάτων. Πρωτότοκοι και Υστερότοκοι στην Κάρπαθο. Eκδ. Αλεξάνδρεια: Αθήνα
    Carsten, Janet (ed.). 2000. Cultures of Relatedness. New Approaches to the Study of Kinship. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.
    Collier, Jane Fishburne and Sylvia Junko Yanagisako (eds.).1987. Gender and Kinship. Essays Toward a Unifiied Analysis.Stanford University Press: Stanford, California.
    Edwards, Janet, Sarah Franklin, Eric Hirsch, Frances Price, Marilyn Strathern (eds). 1993 (2nd edition). Technologies of Procreation. Kinship in the Age of Assisted Conception. Routledge: London and New York.
    Evans-Prichard, E.E. 1951 (επανέκδοση 2002). Kinship and Marriage among the Nuer. Clarendon Press: Oxford.
    Fortes, Meyer. The Web of Kinship Among the Tallensi: The second part of an analysis of the social structure of a Trans-Volta Tribe. Oxford University Press: London
    Fox, Robin. 1967. Kinship and Marriage. An Anthropological Perspective. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.
    Frankin, Susan & Susan McKinnon (eds.) 2001. Relative Values. Reconfiguring Kinship Studies. Duke University Press: Durham & London.
    Ginsberg, Faye and Rayna Rapp (eds.) Conceiving the New World Order. University of California Press: Berkeley
    Goody, Jack (ed.) 1973. The Character of Kinship. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge
    Goody, Jack (ed.). 1971. Kinship. Penguin Books Ltd: Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England.
    Héritier, Françoise. 2005. Οι δύο αδελφές και η μητέρα τους. Ανθρωπολογία της Αιμομιξίας, Αθήνα, Εκδόσεις του Εικοστού Πρώτου (αρχική γαλλική έκδοση, 1994).
    Holy, Ladislav. 1996. Anthropological Perspectives on Kinship. Pluto Press: London. Levi-Strauss, Claude. 1949. Les Structures elementaires de la parente
    Mac Cornack, C and Marilyn Strathern(eds.) 1980. Nature, Culture and Gender. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge
    Malinowski, Bronislav. 1927 (επανέκδοση 2001). Sex and Repression in Savage Society. Routledge: London and New York. Ή ελληνική μετάφραση: Malinowski, Bronislav. 1927 (μτφ. 1976). Σεξουαλικότητα και Καταπίεση στην Πρωτόγονη Κοινωνία. Εκδ. Καστανιώτης: Αθήνα
    Needham, Rodney.1962. Structure and Sentiment
    Parkin, Roger and Linda Stone. 2004. Kinship and Family. An Anthropological Reader. Blackwell Publishing
    Radcliffe-Brown A.R., Forde C. D. (eds.) 1950. African Systems of Kinship and Marriage. Oxford University Press.
    Radcliffe-Brown, A.R. 1950. Social Organization of African Systems of Kinship and Marriage
    Schneider, David. 1968 (2nd 1980). American Kinship. A Cultural Account. The University of
    Chicago Press: Chicago and London
    Stone, Linda. 1997. Kinship and Gender. An Introduction. Westview Press: Colorado and Oxford.
    Stone, Linda. 2000. New Directions in Anthropological Kinship. Rowman & Littlefield.
    Strathern, Marilyn. 1992. After Nature. English Kinship in the late Twentieth Century. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge


    Επιθεώρηση Κοινωνικών Ερευνών
    Κοινωνικές Επιστήμες [ΚΕ}
    Σύγχρονα Θέματα

    American Anthropologist
    American Ethnologist
    Annual Review of Anthropology
    Anthropological Quaterly
    Anthropology Today
    Cultural Anthropology
    Current Anthropology
    Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute