Kinship and affinity in Africa and Eurasia
The purpose of this project, which I am carrying out jointly with Professor Schlee, is to develop and test ideas about the functioning and variability of African and Eurasian systems of kinship and affinity, both in the present and the past. We think that the time is ripe to revisit Goody’s agenda – as set out in Production and Reproduction – and to take up again his intellectually omnivorous use of demographic, statistical, ethnographic and historical sources. We believe that the supposed opposition between interpretive and quantitative-scientific approaches is a false one, and intend to draw on the ethnographic insights of the new kinship school as well as on new developments in cognitive, linguistic and evolutionary theory. The project is open ended. We hope to publish about one major paper a year, and to continue for as long as the work proves interesting and fruitful.