Definition of Descent
Types of Descent
- ambilineal descent
- bilateral descent
- bilineal descent
- matrilineal descent
- nonunilineal descent
- patrilineal descent
- unilineal descent
- American English – /di-sEnt/
- British English – /di-sEnt/
International Phonetic Alphabet
- American English – /dəˈsɛnt/
- British English – /dᵻˈsɛnt/
- Plural: descents
- Descent theory (also called lineage theory) studies descent systems such as matrilineal and patrilineal and is a part of kinship theory.
- A descent group is a group in which all members share a common ancestor and each member is a descendant.
- Descent theory scholars include Edward Evans “E. E.” Evans-Prichard (1902–1973), Meyer Fortes (1906–1983), and Alfred Radcliffe-Brown (1881–1955).
- Descent theory (blood ties) and alliance theory (marriage ties) were the two primary perspectives in the study of kinship and fervently debated among social scientists in the 1950s and 1960s, but the debate has shifted to a less universal theory of kinship.
- A descent system (also called system of descent) refers to the rules used to determine an individual’s ancestry as established by blood (consanguinity), marriage (affinity), or adoption.
- A (noun) descender (verb) descends from ancestors and is their (noun) descendant.
- Family and Kinship Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Word origin of “descent” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
- descent group
- extended family
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descent. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/descent/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “descent.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed November 28, 2023. https://sociologydictionary.org/descent/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“descent.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 28 Nov. 2023. <https://sociologydictionary.org/descent/>.