Imagining and living new worlds: The dynamics of kinship in contexts of mobility and migration

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Abstract

This essay considers kinship in the contexts of movement and migration. Delineating two quite different models of kinship (‘doing’ and ‘being’, the performative and the ascriptive), highlights how mobility and migration are particularly congruent with models of kinship that emphasise its performative qualities. I use movement and migration as a prism to show how kinship provides a uniquely dynamic reservoir of resources to creatively imagine and put into practice ideas and visions that enable moving to and living in new worlds – both geographically distant and near at hand. Rather than being aberrant or unusual, mobility can be seen to be among the capacities that kinship generates. But kinship also provides a repertoire that may promote settlement – and in the conclusion I suggest that both performative and ascriptive models might contribute to an understanding of kinship in the context of migration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-334
Number of pages16
JournalEthnography
Volume21
Issue number3
Early online date16 Jul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • kinship
  • mobility
  • migration
  • documents
  • property
  • marriage

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