Reconnecting State and Kinship

By Tatjana Thelen; Erdmute Alber | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 2
Kinship Weaponized
Representations of Kinship and Binary Othering
in U.S. Military Anthropology

THOMAS ZITELMANN

In many countries, kinship and tribal membership are
major factors in a person’s ability to find a job, get a
promotion, rise to a position of power and authority, or
even to gain access to essential goods and services such
as water or medical care…. marines need to be aware
of the way that kinship relationships organize and control
access to physical and social resources in the community.

—Salmoni and holmes-Eber (2008: 126–27)

As for what constitutes ethnographic intelligence,
consider how people typically associate in the non-
Western world. Kinship matters.

—Simons (2011a: 88)

Kinship systems are the organizational structure of
families and extended families, clans, tribes and so
forth…. [K]inship may influence individuals to join
insurgencies or resist insurgencies…. Knowing social
organizational structure and kinship systems and how
they operate allows counterinsurgents to increase
awareness and situational understanding.

—u.S. Army (2015: 1.22–1.27)

-61-

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