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Family in Anthropology since (1980)


Anthropological studies of the family reflect many of the larger tensions and trends that have typified the discipline in the latter half of the twentieth century. Central anthropological arguments including those about the role of biology in social reproduction, the evolution of culture, the organization of social and cultural data, and the pervasiveness of Western ideologies have played a major role in the development of the anthropological literature on the family. Moreover, because the "family" is a social concept with very real ideological and political orientations, academic work on the family has been alternately stymied and invigorated by popular cultural assumptions, debates, and trends. In particular, since the 1970s, first feminism and then gay and lesbian studies have made important contributions in moving anthropology toward an understanding of family that is analytically sophisticated in its ability to think about heterogeneity at the same time that it reflects the on-the-ground realities of real families.


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Cynthia E. Foor

Ann Miles

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Evolution to FerrocyanideFamily in Anthropology since (1980) - New Directions For Family Studies, Putting Theory Into Practice: Family Studies Of The 1980s And Early 1990s