P054
Kinning the state - state kinning: reconnecting the anthropology of kinship and political anthropology

Convenors:
Tatjana Thelen (University of Vienna)
Erdmute Alber (University of Bayreuth)
Discussant:
Frances Pine (Goldsmiths College, University of London), Julia Eckert (University of Bern)
Location:
S-116
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

Assuming that it is high time to reconnect the anthropology of kinship and political anthropology, this panel explores collaboration and intimacy in state-citizen relations. The papers analyse the intersection between kinship and state through their co-production in representations and practices.

Long abstract:

Starting from the assumption that it is high time to reconnect the anthropology of kinship and political anthropology, this panel explores collaboration and intimacy in state-citizen relations. The social construction of political collaboration and intimate kinship as distinct or even opposed realms has flawed the analysis of their co-production. Taking up the notion of kinning as developed by Signe Howell, we expand it to conceptualize the intersection between kinship and state. Political anthropologists have long drawn attention to the modeling of patron-client relations on kinship (Wolf 1966). Later studies focused on the parallel imaginations of kin-based belonging and the community of the state or nation (Anderson 1981, Borneman 1992, Herzfeld 1992). This emphasis on images was added to by studies on the strategic employment of kinship idioms by marginalized actors to better their position in relation to state authorities (Yang 2005). Apart from the focus on representation and utility, kinship as practice or the intimacy of political relations were largely ignored. On the other hand, new kinship studies have confined their purview to considering the state insofar as it enables or limits familial processes of kinning. In this panel we aim at overcoming these limitations by re-thinking the intertwining of kinship and the state on a theoretical as well as on an empirical basis. We especially encourage papers that track how representations of kinship and state function as mirror images of one another, and how kinning practices of and with the state contribute to their reproduction and transformation.