methodology and the misinterpretation of women's status in kinship studies: a case study of Goodenough and the definition of marriage

MICAELA di LEONARDO*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper examines the ethnographic sources that Ward Goodenough (1970) uses to support and illustrate his assumption that women's low status is universally unproblematic, an assumption that is central to his construction of a cross‐cultural definition of marriage. The examination reveals that the sources are a poor ethnographic sample and, further, that Goodenough's assumption flaws his interpretation of the ethnographic data. The paper concludes that Goodenough's definition of marriage does not correspond to the evidence of his own sources, suggests that other models of kinship processes may be similarly inadequate, and calls for the use of appropriate methodology in the future construction of such models 1979 American Anthropological Association

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)627-637
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Ethnologist
Volume6
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology

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