Social scientists, when making their studies of the structure of family groups, have often observed the current situation of a particular group of families and drawn conclusions from that static picture. Valuable as many of these conclusions may be, they are incomplete because they overlook the important fact that the structure of the family changes. These changes can be fitted into a developmental cycle in which the family or group changes in composition from its original two members to a larger group and finally two again. This book, originally published in 1958, is introduced by a substantial essay and reviews the papers collected here and discusses the theoretical background and implications of the use of the concept of the developmental cycle. The papers each demonstrate how the changing structure of the domestic group may be seen to explain otherwise obscure elements of the particular society.
Originally published in the UK in 1970. The central argument of this book is that the structuralist theory and method developed by British and American anthropologists in the study of kinship and social organization are the direct descendants of the researches of Lewis Henry Morgan. Re-examining Morgan's work, the book demonstrates how a tradition of mis-interpretation has disguised the true import of Morgan's discoveries and ideas for Rivers and Radcliffe-Brown and the generation of anthropologists inspired by them.
The theme of this book is the analysis of the changes that have occurred in the kinship patterns of the Toka of South Zambia as a result of a shift in their form of production from hoe agriculture to ox-drawn ploughing. Dr Holy uses the rich, detailed ethnography that he provides about these changes to confront several theoretical issues of current anthropological interest, as well as to examine the basic methodological problems of anthropological enquiry. Emphasizing the distinction between the conceptual and cognitive world of the actors, and the transactions and events in which they engage, he argues that anthropological explanation has to account not only for structure, but also for the purposeful interaction between actors that generates that structure.
Father-son conflict was for the Athenians a topic of widespread interest that touched the core of both family and political life, particularly during times of social upheaval. In this vivid account of the intermingling of politics and the private sphere in classical Athens, Barry Strauss explores the tensions experienced by a society that cherished both youthful independence and paternal authority. He examines father-son relations within the Athenian family and the way these relations were represented in a wide variety of political and literary texts. His inquiry reveals that representations of patricide, father beating, and son murdering did not necessarily coincide with actual instances but rather served as metaphors for intergenerational tensions fueled by democracy, the sophists, and the Peloponnesian War. Strauss points out that major Athenian accounts of father-son conflict--such as the myth of the Athenian national hero, Theseus, and the plays of Euripides and Aristophanes--were either produced or enthusiastically revived during the war. He traces the relation between the use of familial metaphors in these accounts and fluctuations in Athenian wartime ideology: as the fortunes of Athens shifted, citizens went from confidence in their elder statesman Pericles to enthusiasm over a new generation of young politicians led by Pericles' ward Alcibiades, and back to an insistence on what Athenians called the "paternal" rule of older leaders. In emphasizing the blurring of boundaries between family and state, or private and public, in Athens, Strauss encourages us to reflect anew on the distinction between these concepts and on the difficulties of putting that distinction into practice today.
Researchers in child development often study children in isolation--apart from the environmental influences that shape, nurture, or harm them. In 'Children of Social Worlds', leading social scientists show how much is lost by this approach. Their underlying assumption is that children's psychological development can be understood only in the context of the social worlds in which they grow up and that the disciplinary boundaries of traditional psychology must be expanded.