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In anthropology, kinship is the web of social relationships that form an important part of the lives of all humans in all societies, although its exact meanings even within this discipline are often debated.
Anthropologist Robin Fox states that "the study of kinship is the study of what man does with these basic facts of life – mating, gestation, parenthood, socialization, siblingship etc." Human society is unique, he argues, in that we are "working with the same raw material as exists in the animal world, but [we] can conceptualize and categorize it to serve social ends." These social ends include the socialization of children and the formation of basic economic, political and religious groups.
the difference between a mother and a childless woman).
Degrees of relationship are not identical to heirship or legal succession.
Human kinship relations through marriage are commonly called "affinity" in contrast to the relationships that arise in one's group of origin, which may be called one's descent group.
In some cultures, kinship relationships may be considered to extend out to people an individual has economic or political relationships with, or other forms of social connections.
This may be due to a shared ontological origin, a shared historical or cultural connection, or some other perceived shared features that connect the two entities.
For example, a person studying the ontological roots of human languages (etymology) might ask whether there is kinship between the English word seven and the German word sieben.
Family relations can be represented concretely (mother, brother, grandfather) or abstractly by degrees of relationship (kinship distance). a father in relation to a child) or reflect an absolute (e.g.Family is a group of people affiliated by consanguinity (by recognized birth), affinity (by marriage), or co-residence/shared consumption (see Nurture kinship).In most societies it is the principal institution for the socialization of children.Kin terminologies can be either descriptive or classificatory.
When a descriptive terminology is used, a term refers to only one specific type of relationship, while a classificatory terminology groups many different types of relationships under one term.It can be used in a more diffuse sense as in, for example, the news headline "Madonna feels kinship with vilified Wallis Simpson", to imply a felt similarity or empathy between two or more entities.