Igluligmiut Kinship and Local Groupings: A Structural Approach

Igluligmiut Kinship and Local Groupings: A Structural Approach

Igluligmiut Kinship and Local Groupings: A Structural Approach

Igluligmiut Kinship and Local Groupings: A Structural Approach

Excerpt

The discussions of the preceding chapter have been based on charts of local groups which portray the kinship composition of those groups as they appeared at points in time. The generalizations that emerged regarding group structure are based on the assumption that the pictures of groups so presented are representative of the sorts of alignments that would repeatedly occur at the various sites of habitation. True, reference has been made to more or less temporary fluctuations in group size and composition and to the effects of migration and hiving on the development of local groupings. In addition, it was found that reference to alternatively exploited residence situations was necessary to clarify points concerning patterns of residence. This necessity to refer to temporal features in group structure is indicative of the degree of fluctuation in group composition over longer and shorter periods. Even though increased sedentariness in the Iglulik region in recent years was noted, fluctuation in the size and composition of local groups is still occurring. Indeed, shifts in personnel in each of the villages and the establishment of new villages are so much a part of Igluligmiut social life that failure to apply a time dimensional frame to the examination of groups deprives one of insight into many important aspects of group composition and, inevitably, of the social structure. Accordingly, the description of Igluligmiut groups that has preceded must be supplemented by temporal approaches.

In this chapter several approaches to the temporal aspects of group composition will be used. These will be directed toward validating, elucidating, or modifying the generalizations that have been developed in the preceding chapter. The discussion will include (1) an analysis of changes in group composition over the year's cycle; concerned with longer periods of time will be (2), an examination of the role of the individual life cycle in structuring groups specifically, which will concern an exploration of the changing character of links inside the extended family; (3) a treatment of the changes and continuities over time in the ties that bind extended family units within the local group.

Traditional Seasonal Cycle

In Chapter II the seasonal cycle at various stages in Igluligmiut history was outlined. The writer did not, however, dwell on the sociological significance of these cycles in terms of the effect of economic changes on . . .

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