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Vital Relations Susan McKinnon

Vital Relations

Susan McKinnon

Published October 17th 2013
ISBN :
Kindle Edition
292 pages
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 About the Book 

Vital Relations is an enlightening book with far-reaching implications for the perception of the place the study of kinship holds in sociocultural anthropology. We have been waiting for this book, and I say this not just as someone interested in theMoreVital Relations is an enlightening book with far-reaching implications for the perception of the place the study of kinship holds in sociocultural anthropology. We have been waiting for this book, and I say this not just as someone interested in the subject field, and in anthropology at large, but as a teacher. Kinship courses have for too long relied on the debates about assisted conception (new reproductive technologies) and its ramifications to make the point that kinship issues are of our times- these chapters offer a wealth of concisely argued case material across a spectrum of contexts to correct the balance. It will be a brilliant teaching tool.Vital Relations is a vital work. It restores to anthropology a critical focus on kinship that was erased by the self-congratulatory discourse of modernity. But in place of yesteryear’s focus on abstruse (if important) aspects of complex terminologies, this new approach tears aside the veil of disinterestedness that modern institutions such as the nation-state have constructed for themselves, and reveals a persistent emphasis on kinship in ideologically improbable places. In riveting, empirically grounded chapters drawn from a rich array of cultural contexts ranging from ghosts in Malaysian blood banks to the place of kinship in state systems and its impact on an imagined global future, the authors challenge the power of institutions to disguise their own fundamental dependence on kinship. No responsible analyst of modernity will henceforth be able to pretend that kinship has become irrelevant.