ABSTRACT

In fact, 'kinship structure' means two separate things, though, as will emerge, anthropologists are right in not normally separating them. I shall:

A society consists of people, male and female, any pair of whom can mate (with certain obvious qualifications concerning age) as far as biology is concerned. In actual fact, matings are not random in any society. In other words. actual matings are a sub-class of bio· logically possible matings. Kinship-structure in theftrs! sense means the specification of how that sub-class is selected, in other words which matings, or rather which kinds of matings, actually occur. For instance in a strictly monogamous society with no pre-or extramarital relations or re-marriage, the actual matings would be such that if A and B mate, then this precludes any mating of A with B' or of B with A'.