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28 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 13 June 2012

Kinship is a key term in Anthropology. It describes the genealogical and biological ties which bind human beings to each other. The French anthropologist, Maurice Godelier, tells Laurie Taylor about his groundbreaking study into the evolution of kinship as a reality, as well as a concept. He disputes the idea that it constitutes the original building block of society; arguing instead that political and religious allegiances cut across family groups. He also suggests that traditional ideas of 'kinship' are complicated by the modern day transformation in family forms. The celebrated British anthropologists, Henrietta Moore and Adam Kuper, join the debate.

Producer: Jayne Egerton.

  • Maurice Godelier

    Distinguished Professor of Anthropology

    The Metamorphoses of Kinship
    Publisher: Verso
    ISBN-10: 184467746X
    ISBN-13: 978-1844677467

    Find out more about Maurice Godelier
  • Adam Kuper

    Visiting Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics

    Incest and Influence: The Private Life of Bourgeois England
    Publisher: Harvard University Press
    ISBN-10: 0674035895
    ISBN-13: 978-0674035898

    Find out more about Adam Kuper
  • Henrietta Moore

    William Wyse Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge

    Still Life: Hopes, Desires and Satisfactions
    Publisher: Polity Press
    ISBN-10: 0745636462
    ISBN-13: 978-0745636467

    Find out more about Henrietta Moore



  1. Image for Thinking Allowed

    Thinking Allowed

    Laurie Taylor explores the latest research into how society works and discusses current ideas on how…

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