Kinship Studies : Neoclassicism and New Wave
A Critical Review
In the last few years in France and the Anglophone countries, the subject of kinship has been eliciting new interest and new analyses. Four recently published works (three in French, one in English) offer an opportunity to assess how research questions and approaches, knowledge and theoretical debate are evolving in this field, a field that both anthropology and sociology are implicated in. Detailed study of the four works brings to light contrasting positions organized around a set of questions involving relations between the biological and the social, questions raised more than 20 years ago by David M. Schneider, an atypical North American anthropologist unjustly neglected in France. Today Schneider’s work seems to have marked a decisive turning point in the recent history of kinship studies.