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Rivalry and Taking Kinsmen for Granted: Limiting Factors in the Development of Voluntary Associations

John H. Hamer
Journal of Anthropological Research
Vol. 38, No. 3 (Autumn, 1982), pp. 303-314
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3629851
Page Count: 12
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Rivalry and Taking Kinsmen for Granted: Limiting Factors in the Development of Voluntary Associations
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Abstract

This article examines the issue of the difficulty which closely related kin have in forming cooperative and self-help societies. Using the Sadama of Ethiopia as an example, it is demonstrated that the contradiction between the normative stress on amity and the actual rivalries and social inequities among close kin is partially overcome by "taking for granted" a minimal amount of cooperation from these relatives. The realities of organizing cooperative societies, however, lead to increased competitiveness, equality in decision making, and the recruitment of members on the basis of self-interest rather than altruism.

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