Fictive Kinship Groups
The function of Fictive Kin groups refers to individuals that are not related by birth or marriage. The person has to have an important relationship with another person to join their family. When they allow someone in their kinship they have to treat them as if they were actually related to their kinship relationship.
An example of a Fictive Kin group is marriage which is an important social relationship in the system. A tie established through marriage could be because of inheritance or keeping social bonds. Sometimes, when their families do not have children to marry, they use these fictive marriages. Fictive marriage is a marriage that is not for love but for reputation, political advantages, or personal convenience.
Money is important in many societies, especially in westernized cultures. The quote, “Money is to the West what Kinship is to the Rest,” refers to how most children of the west struggle without money and are expected to be independent and successful. They have a capitalist society while kinship is the exact opposite. They rely more on family relationships and reputation to become powerful. Even though they are completely different societies, they have similar cultural characteristics.
Richard B. Lee writes in his 2003 study of the ju/hoansi of Botswana of the Dobe Ju kinship system. The kinship system has two methods for connecting people. Sometimes, the first method to figuring out the relationship between two people is at random and the second is by resolving conflicts with other families. Therefore, they depend on lineage and their blood relatives to become profitable. This is similar to the United States, a western society, because of their terms father, mother, son, etc. Also, they both treat both the grandparents or uncles and aunts the same regardless if the connection is through the father or mother.
Another example is Elizabeth Warnock Fernea’s ethnography in 1965 of an Iraqi Village. The villager’s kinship...