What need is there for kinship? What good is it anyway? The questions are as old as anthropology itself, but few answers have been enduringly persuasive. Kinship systems can contribute to our enslavement, but more often they permit, channel, and facilitate our relations with others and our further fashioning of ourselves-as kin but also as subjects of other kinds. When they do, they are among the matrices of our lives as ethical beings. Each contributor to this innovative book treats his or her own alterity as the touchstone of the exploration of an ethnographically and historically specific ethics of kinship. Together, the chapters reveal the irreducible complexity of the entanglement of the subject of kinship with the subject of nation, class, ethnicity, gender, desire. The chapters speak eloquently to the sometimes liberating stories that we cannot help but keep telling about our kin and ourselves.
James Faubion is associate professor of anthropology at Rice University.
Chapter 1 Introduction: Toward and Anthropology of Kinship Chapter 2 Caring and Being Cared For: Displacing Marriage, Kinship, Gender, and Sexuality Chapter 3 Rainbow Family, Rainbow Nation: Reflections on Relatives and Relational Dynamics in Trinidad Chapter 4 Personalizing It:Kafala, Kinship, Abandoned Children, and Family Chapter 5 A Kinship of One's Own Chapter 6 Kousi Oda Pannu (Kousi's Daughter) Chapter 7 The Ethics of Affect: The Public Policies of Intimacy in the Bloomsbury Group andSammy and Rosie Get Laid Chapter 8 This Week the Blue Room: Locating Kinship in a Split-level Home Chapter 9 What We Bring to the Table: The Means of Imagination in an African-American Family Chapter 10 "Like Family to Me": Families of Origin, Families of Choice, and Class Mobility Chapter 11 Be/longings Chapter 12 Family I Imagine