In the Irish Gaelic language the term derbfine refers to a patrilineal descent group which shows an individual’s affiliations and direct relations back three generations to their great-grandfather. For this assignment I want you to create a family tree of your derbfine showing all of your relatives going back three generations from yourself and your siblings. In contrast to the Irish tradition, however, I want you to show both your father’s and your mother’s sides of you family. I am assuming that you know the names of your grandparents and that you can get the names of your great-grandparents easily through a conversation with your parents (don’t worry, it shouldn’t take long). Use the charts in the reading from Kottak for this week as a guide for the format of your family tree. This part of your assignment can be handwritten, if done neatly (and then scanned or clearly photographed).
That’s right, that part of the assignment can be handwritten, this part, however, has to be typed. In addition to the short family tree, I want you to analyze your family. What kind of family structure are you used to, nuclear or extended or some other variation? Who makes up your vision of your family? Who “wears the pants” in your family? In other words, who is the head of the family, who exercises the most control/power in the family group? Who you say that your family is a matriarchy or a patriarchy? How often does your family get together in something other than a nuclear family setting, if at all? How widespread is your family and how does this affect your family dynamic? Do the different professions exercised by the members of your family influence the interaction between your family members? Are their tensions between family members over things like chosen professions or distance or partners? Why?
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