Geographical-historical versus psycho-functional explanations of kin avoidances

Comparative Studies by Harold E. Driver and Essays in His Honor HRAF Press New Haven Published In Pages: 27-60
By Driver, Harold E.


Kin avoidance behavior will be associated with culture area, language family, descent, residence, and kinship terminology.


The author found that the significant correlations were higher with kinship terminology than those with residence and descent (residence provided a weak confirmation of Tylor's theory and descent provided a slightly stronger confirmation) (141). The greatest difference in magnitudes in the phi test were for culture areas and language families, intermediate for kinship terminology, and least for residence and descent (144).


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
PhiPartially Supported< .05UNKNOWNUNKNOWN

Related Hypotheses

Main AuthorHypothesis
Stewart, Robert A. C.Findings: A factor analysis of key dimensions to describe a given culture yielded 12 factors. Factor 5, "matrilineal kin groups", loaded highly and positively on Crow-type cousin terminology; kin group matrilineal; community segmented on a clan basis; matrilocal marital residence; cousin marriage unilateral; codified laws present. Factor 5 loaded highly and negatively on kin groups patrilineal or double descent; marital residence patrilocal (59)
Witkowski, Stanley". . . the degree of extended family organization--from large extended, to small extended, to nonextended--should be positively associated with the degree of collateral [kin terminology] merging" (253)
Naroll, RaoulOver the general course of evolution during the past several thousand years [peaceful] borrowing has been at least as important a selection factor as has been [warlike] migration. Triads consisting of 1) base society 2) nearby society from different language family (borrowers) and 3) distant society from same language family as base society (migrators) were compared for eleven culture traits (209, 204)
Tylor, Edward B."Teknonymy [is] in close connection with the custom of the husband's residence in the wife's family [and is] still more closely attached to the practice of ceremonial avoidance by the husband of the wife's family" (4)
Passmore, SamKinship typologies can be created by modeling similarities between kinship terminologies across different languages.