Partible Paternity and Anthropological Theory: The Construction of an Ethnographic Fantasy

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University Press of America, Jun 16, 2009 - Social Science - 76 pages
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Partible Paternity and Anthropological Theory discusses the conception 'partible paternity' within Amazonian Indian communities. 'Partible paternity' is the idea that several sexual acts are necessary to produce a fetus and that the mother may have these with several men, who in turn have several sexual partners as well. Victorian anthropologists viewed this situation as 'group marriage,' a hypothetical state in which individual marriage and the family did not exist and which, presumably, once characterized Western society. The notion of 'group marriage' was demolished by 1920, when it was shown that individual marriage and the family exist nearly everywhere. More recently, however, the idea has been resurrected by Stephen Beckerman and Paul Valentine in their book Cultures of Multiple Fathers. This book argues that Beckerman and Valentine are completely wrong—in Amazonia, the family exists everywhere, and the occasional trysts which result in shared paternity are subject to male sexual jealousy.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Chapter 01 Three Primitivist Projects
3
Chapter 02 The Grand Claims of Beckerman and Valentine
11
Chapter 03 The Northwest Amazon Cases
23
General Considerations
31
Chapter 05 Evidence Re Focality in Kin Classification Simpliciter
33
Chapter 06 Evidence Re Focality in Kin Classification Stemming from Partible Paternity
37
Chapter 07 Evidence Re the Residential and Symbolic Isolation of the Sexually Bonded Pair and Dependent Offsprin
41
Chapter 08 Evidence Re Sexual Jealousy
45
Chapter 09 Evidence Re the Denigration of Women
47
Chapter 10 Miscellaneous Evidence
51
Chapter 11 Conclusion
55
Bibliography
57
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About the author (2009)

Warren Shapiro is emeritus professor of anthropology at Rutgers University. He has written on kinship and anthropological theory for over four decades; his works include three other books and dozens of articles in both professional and popular journals and magazines.

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