KASS

KASS (Kinship and Social Security) was an interdisciplinary project with an anthropological agenda, carried out between 2004 and 2008 by an international team of scholars, coordinated by the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology. KASS was funded by the European Union's Sixth Framework Research Programme.

The aim of KASS was to investigate the role of family networks as sources of security and mutual assistance. Although the role of kinship in social security has important implications for state and EU policies on social security, gender discrimination and social exclusion, it remains relatively little understood - despite challenging contributions in recent decades from anthropology, economics, demography, and evolutionary theory. One reason is that conventional data sources such as censuses and surveys do not collect the full range of data needed to evaluate these theoretical developments. The only sort of data that is capable of capturing enough factual details about kinship networks, while also investigating the way these relationships are actually experienced, is ethnographic fieldwork. A central idea of this project was to use ethnographic methods, combined with a computerized Kinship Network Questionnaire (KNQ), as the basis for both interpretative and mathematical analyses, designed to illuminate the practical working of kinship ties. Another central idea was that current trends need to be understood in their historical context. The fieldwork studies were carried out in eight European countries and placed in context by historical reviews of the development of family systems and state social security.

The findings were published in three Volumes in 2010.

Grandits, Hannes (ed.):
Family, Kinship and State in Contemporary Europe.
Vol. 1 The Century of Welfare: Eight Countries.
Frankfurt/New York: Campus Verlag 2010

Heady, Patrick; Schweitzer, Peter (eds.):
Family, Kinship and State in Contemporary Europe.
Vol. 2 The View from Below: Nineteen Localities.
Frankfurt/New York: Campus Verlag 2010

Heady, Patrick; Kohli, Martin (eds.):
Family, Kinship and State in Contemporary Europe.
Vol. 3 Perspectives on Theory and Policy.
Frankfurt/New York: Campus Verlag 2010

 
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