SHA-7 Anthropology of Kinship and Gender

SHA-7 Anthropology of Kinship and Gender


Learning outcomes: Along the lines of the course, we attempt to acquaint students with the most fundamental anthropological theories of kinship, gender and sexuality. We examine anthropological approaches of kinship from the end of the 19th century till today, we analyze gender in various contexts, present the theory of social construction and performance theory, and view critically approaches that perceive our most prevalent social relations –kin, gendered, sexual- as “biological” or “natural”.
More specifically, the course focuses on the importance of kinship studies in anthropology, the relation of kinship with the theories of evolutionism, structural-functionalism and structuralism during the 19th and 20th century, the anthropological interest in women as research subjects and the shift of anthropological interest in gendered subjects and gendered relations, the influence of performative theory and queer theory in the analysis of gender and sexuality, the renewed anthropological turn towards the study of kinship during the end of the 20th-beginning of 21st century and the emergence of “new kinship studies”, -that examine new reproduction technologies, new family and cohabitation forms, the relation of family with sexuality and the formation of same-sex families.
Focusing on ethnographic examples in various cultures the course will analyze kinship, gender and sexuality in specific social and cultural contexts and problematize the terms.
By the end of the course students should be capable to:
• Have an adequate knowledge of the most important theories in the field of the anthropology of kinship and gender
• Understand gender as analytical parameter of culture
• Problematize the “natural” or “biological” character of concepts such as kinship, gender, sexuality
• Analyze ethnographic examples in different cultures and understand new forms of kinship relations as a result of technological changes and social transformations
• Understand and be able to use theoretical contexts and methodological approaches for the analysis of kinship and gendered relations

General Competences: 
• Working independently
• Team work
• Working in an international environment
• Production of new research ideas
• Respect for difference and multiculturalism
• Showing social, professional and ethical responsibility and sensitivity to gender issues
• Criticism and self-criticism
• Production of free, creative and inductive thinking


Social Sciences

Academic Unit:

Social Anthropology and History

Level of studies:


Course code:



Independent teaching activities


Weekly teaching hours




Course type:

General Background

Prerequisite courses:


Language of instruction and examinations:



Kantsa Venetia

Is the course offered to erasmus students: