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Genealogy, kinship, and knowledge: A cautionary note about causation

  • Stephen M. Lyon (a1)


The choice of emphasis in kinship studies has often resulted in incompatible theoretical models of kinship that are mutually undermining and contradictory. Jones' attempts to reconcile disparate approaches to kinship using OT is useful, however; seeing kinship as a specialized system for representing genealogy may be unwarranted in the light of recent advances in mathematical approaches to kinship terminologies.



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Carsten, J. (1997) The heat of the hearth: The process of kinship in a Malay fishing community. Clarendon Press; Oxford University Press.
Fischer, M. D. & Read, D. (2005) Kinship Algebra Expert System: A computer program and documentation for formal modelling of kinship terminologies and the simulation of populations that under these models. Retrieved 24 June, 2010, from
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Leaf, M. J. (2005) The message is the medium: Language, culture, and informatics. Cybernetics and Systems: An International Journal 36(8):903–17.
Read, D. (2001a) Formal analysis of kinship terminologies and its relationship to what constitutes kinship. Anthropological Theory 1(2):239–67.
Read, D. (2006) Kinship Algebra Expert System (KAES): A software implementation of a cultural theory. Social Science Computer Review 24(1):4367.

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Genealogy, kinship, and knowledge: A cautionary note about causation

  • Stephen M. Lyon (a1)


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