Classificatory kinship

Main article: Kinship and descent

Classificatory kinship systems, as defined by Lewis Henry Morgan, put people into society-wide kinship classes on the basis of abstract relationship rules. These may have to do with genealogical relations locally (e.g., son to father, daughter to mother, daughter to father) but the classes bear no overall relation to genetic closeness. If a total stranger marries into the society, for example, they may simply be placed in the appropriate class opposite to their spouse. It uses kinship terms that merge or equate relatives who are genealogically distinct from one another. Here, the same term is used for different kin.

The Dravidian kinship-term system, discovered in 1964, is an example of a classificatory kin-term logic.

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