Blood and water: ownership, kinship and conflict
Patrick McConvell (Australian National University)
Mary Patterson (University of Melbourne)
Start time:
9 December, 2008 at 13:30
Session slots:

Short abstract:

The pragmatics of kinship related to ownership , and implications for changes in systems, including :agency and structuralist models; variants of kinship systems in different rights contexts; multiple and hybrid kinship systems; transformations in kinship linked to changes in ownership systems.

Long abstract:

The late Les Hiatt brought abstract modelling of Australian kinship relations down to earth with analysis of how people actually lined up in disputes over rights. Kinship was paramount but its interpretation and usage was flexible This panel looks at the pragmatics of kinship assignment and terminology in micro-contexts especially relating to ownership systems, and implications for longer-term changes in systems. Among general issues that could be discussed are : *Micro-analysis of agency and pragmatics in kinship usage and its relation to structuralist models of systems; *Variants of kinship systems in one language activated by different discourses related to rights ; *In multicultural/multilingual and borderland societies, more than one system operating and hybrid systems emerging *Major transformations in kinship linked to changes in ownership and inheritance systems recently and in prehistory, While ethnographic and historical examples from any part of the world are welcome there is a focus on the Pacific and Australia. In Australia, kinship terms and ideologies are among the prime ways of articulating traditional ownership, but these may be impacted by Land Rights and Native Title codifications, as well as the influence of English/,mainstream kinship and legal systems, and government pressure to extend private ownership (eg of houses). In a broader Pacific context the interface of state and customary laws and wider and more local kinship systems give rise to similar multiple, flexible and potentially conflicting systems.