Research Programs: Fellowships for University Teachers

Period of Performance

1/1/2005 - 12/31/2005

Funding Totals

$40,000.00 (approved)
$40,000.00 (awarded)

Narratives of Social Evolution, Difference, and Inequality

FAIN: FA-52089-05

Susan Mary McKinnon
University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA 22903-4833)

KINDRED SIGNS asks how categories of kinship and marriage have been used as symbolic tropes in U.S. narratives of the nature and evolution of social differences and inequalities. I examine how the rhetorical force of these categories derives from the conceptual crisscrossing of scientific and cultural understandings of the nature of social relations. I explore this conceptual crisscrossing as it is manifest in the debates about social hierarchy and difference that unfold in the classic anthropological texts of kinship study and in their diverse refractions in the U.S. media, law, and public policy.