x !
Arkistoitu opetusohjelma 2012–2013
Selaat vanhentunutta opetusohjelmaa. Voimassa olevan opetusohjelman löydät täältä.
SOS10.2.4/6.5.3 Contemporary Perspectives on Family and Kinship 5 ECTS
Period I Period II Period III Period IV
Language of instruction
Type or level of studies
Intermediate studies
Course unit descriptions in the curriculum
Sosiaalitieteiden tutkinto-ohjelma
School of Social Sciences and Humanities

General description

Kinship has been a central concept in anthropology from its very onset, one of the few which anthropology managed to make its own. Radical shift in kinship studies came in 1970s and 1980s. The traditional approach has been challenged as too static, too fixed, too algebraic. The analytical feasibility of the very category of kinship has been undermined. The aim of this course is to shed light on these new critical developments. We will look at the demise of kinship studies brought about by the argument on their essentially Western ideas of biological reproduction, and their subsequent revitalization. This would include introduction of the Schneider’s critique and the feminist anthropologists’ works on kinship, gender and power; motherhood and fatherhood; concept of relatedness; studies on the new reproductive technologies; gay and lesbian kinship; new family forms emerging in a consequence of divorces, separation, domestic and transnational adoptions and migration. We will discuss how recent theoretical and empirical works reformulated kinship, putting stress on process, flexibility negotiation, human agency, local meanings and symbols. How they countered the notions of “naturalness” of marriage, sex, procreation and parenthood; kinship obligations and duty. We will deconstruct the very notion of biology and nature, as themselves the culturally-created categories. After the course students are expected to identify central trends in the contemporary studies of kinship, and in a critical manner look at the folk assumptions on a family present in a public Euro-American discourse. 


Enrolment for University Studies

Enrolment time has expired


Anna Matyska, Teacher responsible


7-Sep-2012 – 9-Oct-2012
Seminar 20 hours
Contemp. Perspectives on...
Fri 7-Sep-2012 - 5-Oct-2012 weekly at 14.15-15.45, Linna 5015
Tue 11-Sep-2012 - 9-Oct-2012 weekly at 10.15-11.45, Linna 5015


Numeric 1-5.

Evaluation criteria

The course consists of reading materials, lectures and a final essay.

Further information

Priority is given to students in social anthropology, sociology and social psychology.