1932

Abstract

According to Jack Goody, in a body of work that dates back to the 1950s, differences in the mode of inheritance between Eurasia and sub-Saharan Africa have multiple connections to domestic groups, kin terminology, politics and stratification, and above all, productive systems. Goody's theory is built on evolutionist assumptions and draws in part on statistical analysis of the . Theoretically and methodologically unfashionable among sociocultural anthropologists, his work has been largely ignored in recent decades. This article considers the standard criticisms and reviews pertinent recent work on kinship and property in rural Europe and in legal anthropology. Inheritance was supposed to lose its fundamental social significance in socialist societies, and it also came to play a smaller role in the social reproduction of advanced capitalist societies. However, this eclipse may prove to be temporary, and a reengagement with the topic on the part of anthropologists is overdue.

Keyword(s): devolutionEurasiakinshiplawproperty
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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.anthro.37.081407.085222
2008-10-21
2024-06-18
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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