AutorHelena Moreira Schiel
Sua instituiçãoUniversidade Federal do Oeste do Pará UFOPA
Co-autorBojka Milicic
Instituição co-autorUniversity of Utah
Área Temática01. Antropologia
TítuloFictive Kinship and Politics

Kinship metaphors, extensions of kinship terms to non-biological kin are widely recorded in many societies. One of the prominent kinship metaphors, so-called “fictive kinship”, are extensions of kinship terms to non-relatives. Many cultures recognize ritual co-parenthood, in addition to descent and affinity, as an important institution of social organization. This type of fictive kinship has been particularly well documented in Mediterranean and Latin American societies. One common form of god-parenthood is the ritual sponsorship whereby a family of lower economic and/or social standing chooses a sponsor for their child from a more prominent family. This type of relationship results in patronage typically including spiritual and material support in exchange of political support, and often expanding into large networks used for political advantage. While ritual kinship by extensions of kinship terms to god-parenthood turns strangers into relatives, the implications of mutual obligations through patronage are transferred into the arena of politics. This GT aims to bring together researchers dealing with the interface between the “fictive kinship” and political relations. The classic case of patronage through compadrazgo is well described for many Latin American rural areas where the common choice of a padrino (godfather) is a person of superior social position over one’s own. How and when are these ties created, evoked, perpetuated, or hidden in the political context? To what extent are the institutions of god-parenthood, fraternities like masonry, candomblé initiation rituals or amerindian “third included”, generating ritual ‘relatives’ and other kinship metaphors are utilized in the arena of Latin American politics? We welcome papers on all congress’ languages.

  • spiritual kinship, fictive kinship, politics