New Perspectives on Kinship

Overcoming the Eurocentrism and Scientism of Kinship Studies through Lexical Universals

Authored by: Anna Wierzbicka

The Routledge Handbook of Linguistic Anthropology

Print publication date:  September  2015
Online publication date:  August  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415834100
eBook ISBN: 9780203492741
Adobe ISBN: 9781135050900

10.4324/9780203492741.ch5

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Abstract

In a wide-ranging recent debate on kinship studies in the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences, linguist and cognitive scientist Stephen Levinson writes (2010: 392): “The neglect of kinship in current anthropology and in the cognitive sciences is not far short of a scandal. Humans are the categorizing species, and kinship systems categorize our own most significant others, so reflecting fundamental forms of social organization.”

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