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Beyond Kinship: Social and Material Reproduction in House Societies

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ISBN-13: 978-0812217230
ISBN-10: 0812217233
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Editorial Reviews


"An impressive set of papers that must be read by everyone concerned with integrating material objects into their analyses of complex cognitive aspects of culture. This sublime collection reflects the cutting edge of a mature discipline."—Journal of American Folklore

"Lévi-Strauss's latter-day thinking on houses and house societies offers an antikinship kinship theory that puts a new slant on time, family, and hierarchy. Skillfully edited by Joyce and Gillespie, the volume Beyond Kinship illustrates the breadth of investigations into history, people, and place that Lévi Strauss's formulation makes possible."—Current Anthropology

About the Author

Rosemary A. Joyce is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the coeditor of Social Patterns in Pre-Classic Mesoamerica, and of Women in Prehistory: North America and Mesoamerica, available from the University of Pennsylvania Press. Susan D. Gillespie teaches anthropology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is the author of The Aztec Kings: The Construction of Rulership in Mexica History.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press (May 8, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812217233
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812217230
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,429,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rosemary A. Joyce is an anthropological archaeologist who has conducted fieldwork in Honduras for more than thirty years. With a BA from Cornell University and a PhD from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, she has taught at Harvard University and Berkeley, and worked at Harvard's Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology and Berkeley's Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology. She writes about sex and gender in the past; social organization and social change in prehispanic Mexico and Central America; and theory in contemporary archaeology. While she would like to be known for her work on the earliest villages of Honduras, she is resigned to being best known for her work on the early history of chocolate.

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The key of interpretation proposed by Levi-Strauss makes it possible to consider the House as a durable institution that makes use of multiple strategies for the recruitment of its members. He wrote: "In New Zealand as in Madagascar, the house is built, looking forward, through marriage-opportunity of choice between race (with relatives) or earth (with neighbors) - and retrospectively through the funeral, namely the right to the grave, along with ancestral land genealogical chain, where, because of being gathered, the dead lose their individuality agnatha, in-laws or similar".
Joyce and Gillespie reject "House society" as a stage in the social evolution, but they reinforce the importance of these studies to investigate how the House can play a major role in the transition from a kinship-based social structure to a political, economic and religious aristocratic type.
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