Comment on German Dziebel: Crow-Omaha and the future of kin term research
Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology
Kin terminology research—as reflected in Crow-Omaha and Dziebel (2021)—has long been interested in “deep time” evolution. In this commentary, I point out serious issues in neoevolutionist models and phylogenetic models assumed in Crow-Omaha and Dziebel’s arguments. I summarize the widely-shared objections (in case kin term scholars have not previously paid attention) and how those apply to kin terminology. Trautmann (2012:48) expresses a hope that kinship analysis will join with archaeology (and primatology). Dziebel misinterprets archaeology as linguistics and population genetics. Although neither Crow-Omaha nor Dziebel (2021) make use of archaeology, biological anthropology, or paleogenetics, I include a brief overview of recent approaches to prehistoric kinship in those fields—some of which consider Crow-Omaha—to point out how these fields’ interpretations are independent of ethnological evolutionary models, how their data should not be used, and what those areas do need from experts on kinship.
Link to Published Version
Ensor, B. E. (2021). Comment on German Dziebel: Crow-Omaha and the future of kin term research. Kinship, 1(2). https://doi.org/10.5070/K71253723