The Anthropology of Sibling Relations Shared Parentage, Experience, and Exchange

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-07-18
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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On what basis are sibling relations made and negotiated and how do they change over time? How do siblings provide support, but also create pressure or conflict? Despite their importance as models for or contrasts to marriage, friendship, and nation, sibling relations have been largely ignored in anthropology. In this volume, the contributors provide a conceptualization of siblingship as shared parentage, exchange, and experience. They explore what makes these relations worth maintaining and how they contribute to wider community processes, material support, and emotional connection. The ethnographic case studies provide detailed descriptions of lived sibling relations in various settings across the globe.

Author Biography

Erdmute Alber is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. She is the author of Im Gewand von Herrschaft: Modalitäten der Macht bei den Baatombu (1895-1995) (2000), and an editor of Generations in Africa: Connections and Conflicts (2008).

Cati Coe is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Rutgers University, USA. She is the author of The Dilemmas of Culture in African Schools: Youth, Nationalism, and the Transformation of Knowledge (2005) and co-editor of Everyday Ruptures: Children, Youth, and Migration in Global Perspective (2011).

Tatjana Thelen is Professor of Ethnographic Methods and Social Network Analysis at the University in Vienna, Austria. Among other projects, she directed the anthropological research within the comparative project KASS (Kinship and Social Security, sponsored by the European Union) and co-edited Parenting after the Century of Child: Travelling Ideals, Institutional Negotiations and Individual Responses (2010).

Table of Contents

1. The Anthropology of Sibling Relations: Explorations in Shared Parentage, Experience, and Exchange; Tatjana Thelen, Cati Coe, and Erdmute Alber
2. "Sharing Made Us Sisters": Sisterhood, Migration and Household Dynamics in Mexico and Namibia; Julia Pauli
3. Kinship as Friendship: Brothers and Sisters in Kwahu, Ghana; Sjaak van der Geest
4. Within the Thicket of Intergenerational Sibling Relations: A Case Study from Northern Benin; Erdmute Alber
5. When Siblings Determine Your Fate: Educational Mobility and Sibling Support in Rural Northwest China; Helena Obendiek
6. Transnational Migration and Changes in Sibling Support in Ghana; Cati Coe
Afterword; Janet Carsten

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