Navajo Kinship and Marriage
The Navajo are one of the most studied people in the world; yet their social organization is one of the least well understood. In "Navajo Kinship and Marriage," Gary Witherspoon, a fluent speaker of the Navajo language who lived among the Navajo for eight years, offers a new theoretical approach to kinship based on its cultural dimensions. Witherspoon makes a primary distinction between culture (patterns for behavior) and the system of social relations (observable patterns of behavior) in this definitive work on Navajo kinship and marriage.
"Witherspoon . . . clarifies problems pertaining to Navajo kinship and marriage through his skillful use of the concepts of cultural and social systems. He adds to the body of knowledge on the Navajo by his own fieldwork and unique life experiences." --R. S. Freed, "Sociology"
"Not only can Witherspoon's book on Navajo kinship help unravel the web for the Anglo willing to concentrate, it can also bring to Navajo readers an understanding of why Anglos don't understand Navajo family relationships." --Joanne Reuter, "Navajo Times"
"This is an important work on Navajo kinship and marriage." --David F. Aberle, "American Anthropology"
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Kinship as a Cultural System
Mother and Child and the Nature of Kinship
Marriage and the Nature of Affinity
Father and Child
The Descent System
The Concepts of Sex Generation Sibling Order and Distance
Kinship and Affinal Solidarity as Symbolized in the Enemyway
Navajo Kinship as a Social System
Subsistence in the Subsistence Residential Unit
Unity in the Subsistence Residential Unit
The Navajo Outfit as a Set of Related Subsistence Residential Units
The Web of Affinity
The Social Universe of the Navajo