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Enfants nomades au pays des Inuit Iglulik

Authors
Journal
Anthropologie et Sociétés
0702-8997
Publisher
Consortium Erudit
Publication Date
Volume
12
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.7202/015026ar
Disciplines
  • Anthropology

Abstract

Child-transfer in Iglulik Inuit CountryInuit groups have been the subject of extensive research on adoption and child-transfer. One such group, the Iglulik Inuit, is used to exemplify the importance of viewing these practices from a structuralist, holistic and dynamic perspective. It is furthermore important to recognize the central role played by these same practices in the social structure, characterized as it is by overlapping households and generations. A regulatory mechanism not only of filiation but of marriage as well, child transfer plays a crucial role in the social reproduction of both human life and the material conditions of life. The interrelationships signified by such transfers must be set against the larger context of individualism vs. collectivism; an antagonistic and complementary dichotomy which encompasses just as much the production of game animals as that of children. Even sexuality and human procreation do not escape from it. Shamans, as well as elders, seem to be particularly involved in this process " notably with respect to wife/husband exchange. " Should not more light be shed on this mediating element within society, an element for too long marginalized by social anthropology ?

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