In Module 2, we explore the broad topic of marriage, kinship, and descent as they relate to cultural anthropology’s interest in human relationships and their influence on culture and vice versa. Learning about the various forms of association and organization cultures use helps us to better understand our own cultural practices and the problems and possible solutions that may exist.


Choose one of the question options below and note it in your subject line.You are encouraged to reply to peers who answered a different question option than you.

Option 1: Compare the marriage, divorce, and residence patterns for 2 cultures (do not use the US).

Consider the views on same-sex marriage in the United States. Search online and describe some of the views in other societies, including those you chose in your comparison.
How much of this can be tied directly to the “culture” of the United States? What is your reasoning?
Option 2: Choose 2 cultures and compare/contrast how each recognizes kinship and descent (do not use the US).

Which system is used? How has their environment influenced the system used?
Address age/gender roles, parent/child relationships, and the role of elders.
What else can anthropologists learn from studying kinship and descent within groups?
Option 3: Drawing from the module readings and/or other credible sources, explainwhether you think blood kinship is relevant in contemporary US society. Use at least 3 examples or lines of reasoning to support your stance.

Are advances in genetics and reproductive technologies influencing what it means to be “related?” Why or why not?
What about issues related to gender? Do you think the media has a positive or negative effect when it comes to cultural change? Explain.
How might these changes affect the traditional roles and responsibilities of the kinship and descent systems we’ve studied? Are new roles being created?

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