Tangible affinities and the real life fascination of kinship

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article uses the examples of the 'kinship consequences'of assisted conception, the contemporary enthusiasm for tracing family histories, and a more general interest in family resemblances to argue that there is a contemporary fascination with kinship which existing sociological and anthropological theory do not entirely explain. It proposes a conceptual framework for understanding what is both distinctive and fascinating about kinship, based on four dimensions of affinity: fixed affinities, negotiated and creative affinities, ethereal affinities and sensory affinities. These are dimensions where kinship is engaged with, defined, known and expressed. Collectively, these are referred to as'tangible'affinities, not because they are all literally tangible but because of their resonance in lived experience and their vivid and palpable (or almost palpable) character. Copyright © 2008.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-45
Number of pages16
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008


  • Affinities
  • Kinship
  • Relatedness


Dive into the research topics of 'Tangible affinities and the real life fascination of kinship'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this