Pseudo-kinship: UPSC expected question
Pseudokinship or fictitious kinship takes place when the social relationships simulate the ones arising through real kinship (consanguinity or affinity) but without any biological relationship.
- For example, in many societies, children who are breast-fed by the same mother are considered siblings.
- We can view ritual kinship as a special form of fictitious kinship, which necessitates a ritual for its creation, rituals such as godparenthood, adoption, or fraternization
- Fictive kinship is a term used by anthropologists and ethnographers to describe forms of kinship or social ties that are based on neither consanguineal (blood ties) nor affinal (“by marriage”) ties, in contrast to true kinship ties. Sociologists define the concept as a form of extended family members who are not related by either blood or marriage.
- Consanguineal and affinal kinship ties is considered real or true kinship
- Stemming from anthropology’s early connections to legal studies, the term fictive kinship may also be used in a legal sense, and this use continues in societies where these categories and definitions regarding kinship and social ties have legal currency; e.g. in matters of inheritance.
As part of the deconstruction of kinship, anthropologists now recognize that—cross-culturally—the kinds of social ties and relationships formerly treated under the category of “kinship” are very often not necessarily predicated on blood ties or marriage ties. So what is it based on?
It can be based on:
- Shared residence
- Shared economic ties
- Nurture kinship: Those fed by same maternal milk
- familiarity via other forms of interaction
- Chosen kinship– which include relationship established during religious rituals or close friendship ties, or other essential reciprocal social or economic relationships. Examples of chosen kin include godparents, informally adopted children, and close family friends.
- A noted Gurung tradition is the institution of “Rodi”, where teenagers form fictive kinship bonds and become Rodi members to socialize, perform communal tasks, and find marriage partners.
- In Western culture, a person may refer to close friends of one’s parents as “aunt” or “uncle” (and their children as “cousin”), or may refer to close friends as “brother” or “sister”, although this is just a mere courtesy treatment and does not represent an actual valuation as such.
- A college fraternities and sororities in some North American cultures usually use “brother” and “sister” to refer to members of the organization.
- Monastic, Masonic, and Lodge organisations also use the term “Brother” for members. “Nursing Sister” is used to denote a rank of nurse, and the term “Sisterhood” may be used for feminists.
- Fictive kinship was discussed by Jenny White in her work on female migrant workers in Istanbul. In her work, she draws on ideas of production and the women she works with being drawn together through “webs of indebtedness” through which the women refer to each other as kin.
- Compadrazgo is a form of fictive kinship that is rooted in Central Mexico history for many years. Literally meaning “co-parenthood”, compadrazgo is a term to describe the set of relationships between a child, their parents, and their godparents.
- In Tribal India- Members of a Dormitory may refer to each other as brothers and sisters. This can be also called as fictive kin.
Q. Fictitious Kin (10 marks)
Q. Pseudo kin (10 Marks)
For more case study and articles related to anthropology: Click here
For UPSC anthropology preparations: click here
For UPSC anthropology videos: Click here