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Cultural and Social Anthropology

Chair for Social Anthropology – Professor Dr. Erdmute Alber

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New Publication "Politics and Kinship - A Reader" edited by Erdmute Alber und Tatjana Thelen


Erdmute Alber and Tatjana Thelen (eds.)

Politics and Kinship: A Reader offers a unique overview of the entanglement of these two categories in both theoretical debates and everyday practices. The two, despite many challenges, are often thought to have become separated during the process of modernisation. Tracing how this notion of separation becomes idealised and translated into various contexts, this book sheds light on its epistemological limitations. Combining otherwise-distinct lines of discussion within political anthropology and kinship studies, the selection of texts covers a broad range of intersecting topics that range from military strategy, DNA testing, and child fostering, to practices of kinning the state.

Beginning with the study of politics, the first part of this volume looks at how its separation from kinship came to be considered a ‘modern’ phenomenon, with significant consequences. The second part starts from kinship, showing how it was made into a separate and apolitical field – an idea that would soon travel and be translated globally into policies. The third part turns to reproductions through various transmissions and future-making projects. Overall, the volume offers a fundamental critique of the epistemological separation of politics and kinship, and its shortcomings for teaching and research. Featuring contributions from a broad range of regional, temporal and theoretical backgrounds, it allows for critical engagement with knowledge production about the entanglement of politics and kinship.

The different traditions and contemporary approaches represented make this book an essential resource for researchers, instructors and students of anthropology.

Erdmute Alber is Chair of Social Anthropology at the University of Bayreuth, Germany.

Tatjana Thelen is Full Professor in the Department for Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Vienna, Austria.

ISBN 9780367408718
December 16, 2021 by Routledge
306 Pages

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