Family and Kinship Networks and Spheres of Exchange. Kinship as  Economic Strategy Cover Image

Семейно-родствени мрежи и сфери на обмен. Родството като икономическа стратегия
Family and Kinship Networks and Spheres of Exchange. Kinship as Economic Strategy

Author(s): Vihra Barova
Subject(s): Anthropology
Published by: Институт за етнология и фолклористика с Етнографски музей при БАН

Summary/Abstract: The field work, underlying this study, was conducted in the 2005-2007 period in the town of Smolyan, and, to be more precise, in its residential districts of Ustovo, Raikovo and Stanenska neighbourhood. These settlements are characterized by the coexistence of a mixed population, in terms of ethnic identity and religious belonging, consisting of Bulgarians and Turks, Christians and Muslims. The paper begins with the search out of big families from the region with the aim of studying the family and kinship relations in them. As a whole, this study has been associated with the application of two types of methodology: classical (ethnographic) and innovative (in the form of network analysis), used in succession. The first stage of the field work (represented here) includes the collection of ethnographic data about the kinship relations in some selected families and kinship groups in the region of the town of Smolyan. This material makes it possible to make up a preliminary hypothesis concerning the sweep of the family and kinship networks and the exchanges inside of them. At this first stage, the terminology used and the theory of social networks are rather an auxiliary means of presenting one model of kinship relations in our times. This hypothetical model should serve as a basis for the working out of the network analysis at the second stage of the work. The main task is to reveal the characteristic activities and basic kinship roles, which do not have a regulative character alone. The changes, taking place in the kinship relations will be reckoned with, depending on the change of the settlement, the differences in the social states, the generational and religious differences of those involved in the networks. These differences in their attributes (in the language of network analysis) should influence also the character of the exchanges and the transactions carried out.

  • Issue Year: 2008
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 5-21
  • Page Count: 17
  • Language: Bulgarian