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A study of matrilineal kin relations in contemporary Minangkabau society of West Sumatra


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Afrizal, 1996 , 'A study of matrilineal kin relations in contemporary Minangkabau society of West Sumatra', Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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For a period, it was argued by analysts that as society develops wider kin relations are weakened, while ties within a nuclear family are strengthened. In the case of matrilineal kinship systems, it was argued that economic change, which involves movement towards a capitalist economy, weakens the matrilineal descent group and transforms it.
Recently, analysts in the field of family and kinship argue that despite economic and demographic changes, kinship continues to be important in providing a support network. Kin remain a source of economic and social support when people face economic and social difficulty.
This thesis examines kin relations in contemporary Minangkabau matrilineal society of West Sumatra, Indonesia. It studies kinship as providing networks of support. The main question addressed in this thesis is: Are kin ties weakening in contemporary Minangkabau society? The extent to which members of matrilineal kin groups who live in both rural and urban areas exchange financial, labour and social support with each other is examined. Kin relationships such as that between a mother's brother and his sister's children are examined, and views of social responsibilities between a range of kin are also analysed.
The research findings show that although Minangkabau have undergone significant economic and demographic changes, ties within matrilineal kin groups are still strong. The members of matrilineal kin groups continue to exchange financial and labour support and mother's brothers are still involved in organising marriages and in the socialisation of their sisters' children. However, the thesis also raises the problems of limitations to the provision of care and support, and relates kin-based support to the lack of alternatives in this social setting.
The findings also reveal that it is very important to take account of both male and female roles within a kin group when examining kin relations rather than to over emphasise the role of men.

Item Type: Thesis - Research Master
Keywords: Matrilineal kinship
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Copyright 1996 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (MA)--University of Tasmania, 1996. Includes bibliographical references

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