It is termed to be the bond of blood or marriage which binds people together and makes them live together. A man is never found to be alone in this world, he’s always surrounded by the people from birth to death. These people either constitute to be his friends, neighbors or his relatives.

Kinship is termed to be a basic social institution and plays a very significant role in the socialization of individuals and maintaining the group solidarity. Kinship often influences an individuals social, economic, political and religious activities.


Types of Kinship


1. Affinial kinship:

This kind of kinship is defined to be the one which exists over a bond of marriage. For instance, the relationship of the groom after marriage with the bride’s family is defined to be one type of affinial kinship. In this kind of kinship, marriage is the host of all the relations which take place.

2. Consanguineous kinship:

This kind of kinship is defined to be the one which exists over a bond of blood. For instance, the bond of kinship which exists between parents and their children and also between siblings is termed to be consanguineous kind of kinship.

Degrees of Kinship

  1. Primary kins: These are the kins which are very close to an individual and very near to him. For example, Father, son, daughter, wife, etc. According to Dr. Dubey, there are 8 primary kins, they are, husband-wife, father-son, mother-daughter, father-daughter, mother-son, younger-elders brothers, young-elder sister, sister-brother.
  2. Secondary kins: These are the primary of primary kins. Related through the primary kins of an individual. For example, Father’s brother, father’s sister, husband’s sister, etc.
  3. Tertiary kins: These are the secondary of the primary kins, so basically primary of secondary. For example, cousin sister, cousin brother.

Kinship terms

  1. Classificatory system: Various kins are often included in 1 category and are referred to by the same term. For example, Uncle, aunt, nephew, etc.
  2. Descriptive system: Only one particular kin is referred to as one particular relation. It describes the exact relation of a person towards another. For example, Father, mother, son, etc

Kin Marriage

Marriages which take place between kins are called kin marriages. For instance, in India, brother’s daughter and sister’s son get married, or a girl even gets married to her maternal uncle. But marriage taking place between siblings are prohibited. Similarly, marriages between children of brother’s and childer of sister’s are prohibited.

Types of Kin marriages

  1. First cousin marriages
  2. Deceased spouse’s marriages
  3. Sibling set exchange marriage

Kinship Usage

Kinship usage is the study of behavioural patterns of different kins. Behaviour of son towards father is that of respect, behaviour of husband towards his wife is that of love, and behaviour of brother towards his sister is that of affection. The kinship usage is divided into two major parts: 

  1. Avoidance:  In this kind of usage, the two kins should remain away from each other that is as the name suggest avoid each other, not only in terms of sexual relationship, but also avoid seeing each others face. In rural India,  a father-in-law usually avoids his daughter-in-law, son-in-law avoids his mother-in-law, etc.  A purdah system is used for avoidance.
  2. Joking Relationship: In this kind of kinship, reverse of avoidance takes place. This kind of usage usually permits to tease or make fun of the other. For example, a relation between brother-in-law and sister-in-law. Joking can be termed as abusive and use vulgar reference to sex.

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