By Eviatar Zerubavel

ISBN-10: 0199773955

ISBN-13: 9780199773954

Family tree has lengthy been certainly one of humanity's maximum obsessions. yet with the increase of genetics, and extending media recognition to it via courses like Who Do you're thinking that You Are? and Faces of America, we're now instructed that genetic markers can definitively let us know who we're and the place we got here from.

The challenge, writes Eviatar Zerubavel, is that biology doesn't offer us with the total photo. finally, he asks, why will we ponder Barack Obama black even supposing his mom was once white? Why did the Nazis think that unions of Germans and Jews might produce Jews instead of Germans? during this provocative booklet, he deals a clean figuring out of relatedness, displaying that its social common sense occasionally overrides the organic truth it supposedly displays. actually, instead of simply organic evidence, social traditions of remembering and classifying form the best way we hint our ancestors, determine our relations, and delineate households, ethnic teams, international locations, and species. in addition, genealogies are greater than mere documents of background. Drawing on quite a lot of facts, Zerubavel introduces such options as braiding, clipping, pasting, lumping, splitting, stretching, and pruning to make clear how we manage genealogies to house own and collective agendas of inclusion and exclusion. instead of easily discover who our ancestors have been and determine our family members, we really build the genealogical narratives that lead them to our ancestors and relatives.

An eye-opening second look of our very thought of relatedness, Ancestors and Relatives deals a brand new approach of knowing kinfolk, ethnicity, nationhood, race, and humanity.

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Additional info for Ancestors and Relatives: Genealogy, Identity, and Community

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Thus, while metaphors such as the line and the chain clearly help us visualize dynastic lineages, they cannot really offer us a full, multidimensional view of genealogical relatedness. We therefore need another metaphor that can accommodate multilinear genealogical narratives and thereby help us visualize more than just ancestral ties. 9 Using the tree metaphor implies a multidimensional view of genealogical systems that have depth as well as breadth. As such, the family tree (or its more abstract modern offspring, the genealogical chart) helps us visualize both lineal and collateral ties.

Lineal and Collateral Ties. ) Thus, while metaphors such as the line and the chain clearly help us visualize dynastic lineages, they cannot really offer us a full, multidimensional view of genealogical relatedness. We therefore need another metaphor that can accommodate multilinear genealogical narratives and thereby help us visualize more than just ancestral ties. 9 Using the tree metaphor implies a multidimensional view of genealogical systems that have depth as well as breadth. As such, the family tree (or its more abstract modern offspring, the genealogical chart) helps us visualize both lineal and collateral ties.

3 While ideal for establishing royal dynasties,4 however, such a narrow view of relatedness might implicitly suggest that each of the members of a lineage is an only child, which is often not the case. The genealogical landscape thus far portrayed here is therefore inherently incomplete, since it presupposes a one-dimensional “genealogical tunnel vision”5 that cannot possibly ever capture the multidimensional nature of relatedness. 1 is striking. 2 are actually part of a wider network of genealogical ties which that figure practically ignores.

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Ancestors and Relatives: Genealogy, Identity, and Community by Eviatar Zerubavel


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