Children’s Acquisition of Kinship Knowledge: Theory and Method

25 January 2018, 9.00 AM - 26 January 2018, 5.00 PM

IAS Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professor Joe Blythe, Macquarie University, Australia

Dr Blythe is an interactional linguist specialising in Australian Indigenous languages. He conducts field research on the Murrinhpatha language of the Northern Territory and on the Gija and Jaru languages from northern Western Australia. He is interested in the relationships between linguistic structure and social action, and what these relationships reveal about social cognition and culture. His research interests include kinship and social identities, first first language acquisition, gesture, spatial cognition and language evolution.

Cross-culturally, how do children learn about kinship concepts? Notions of family and kin terms themselves vary in complexity and structure, so to what extent does linguistic and cultural variation affect the acquisition of kinship knowledge? For many societies around the world, kinship provides the major framework for social organisation, yet we know very little about how children learn to categorise different kinds of kin. This two-day workshop at the University of Bristol will bring together researchers working both directly and indirectly on children’s acquisition of kinship concepts to stimulate and refine research in an important area for the cognitive and social sciences.

Contact information

 During his stay Dr Blythe will be hosted by Professor Fiona Jordan  (Anthropology, School of Arts)