oles Most Western societies employ Eskimo kinship terminology


Most Western societies employ Eskimo kinship terminology. This kinship terminology commonly occurs in societies based on conjugal families, where nuclear families have a degree of relative mobility. Members of the nuclear use descriptive kinship terms:Father: a male parentMother: a female parentSon: a male child of the parentDaughter: a female child of the parentBrother: a male siblingSister: a female siblingHusband: a male spouseWife: a female spouseGrandfather: the father of a parentGrandmother: the mother of a parentCousins: two people who share at least one grandparent in common, but none of the same parents.Such systems generally assume that the mother’s husband is also the biological father. In some families, a woman may have children with more than one man or a man may have children with more than one woman. The system refers to a child who shares only one parent with another child as a “half-brother” or “half-sister”. For children who do not share biological or adoptive parents in common, English-speakers use the term “stepbrother” or “stepsister” to refer to their new relationship with each other when one of their biological parents marries one of the other child’s biological parents. Any person who marries the parent of that child becomes the “stepparent” of the child, either the “stepmother” or “stepfather”. The same terms generally apply to children adopted into a family as to children born into the family. In the United States, one in five mothers have children by different fathers; among mothers with two or more children the figure is higher, with 28% having children with at least two different men. Such families are more common among Blacks and Hispanics, and among the lower socioeconomic class.Typically, societies with conjugal families also favor neolocal residence; thus upon marriage, a person separates from the nuclear family of their childhood and forms a new nuclear family . However, in western society, the single parent family has been growing more accepted and has begun to make an impact on culture. Single parent families are more commonly single mother families than single father. These families sometimes face difficult issues besides the fact that they have to rear their children on their own, for example, low income making it difficult to pay for rent, child care, and other necessities for a healthy and safe home. Members of the nuclear families of members of one’s own nuclear family may class as lineal or as collateral. Kin who regard them as lineal refer to them in terms that build on the terms used within the nuclear family:

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Grandfather: a parent’s father

Grandmother: a parent’s mother


Grandson: a child’s son

Granddaughter: a child’s daughter

For collateral relatives, more classificatory terms come into play, terms that do not build on the terms used within the nuclear family:

Uncle: parent’s brother, or male spouse of parent’s sibling

Aunt: parent’s sister, or female spouse of parent’s sibling

Nephew: sibling’s son, or spouse’s sibling’s son

Niece: sibling’s daughter, or spouse’s sibling’s daughter


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