**The VariKin Project**
Why do human societies differ in who they class as family? How do children learn about kinship? Why do some societies classify cousins with siblings, and other groups distinguish cousins through your mum or your dad? When and how do people talk about family? Although these questions have intrigued anthropologists for over a century, they remain basically unsolved.
VariKin is funded by the [European Research Council] and will run for five years from 2015. Further linked activities are funded by the Leverhulme Trust. Activities of the team of anthropologists, linguists, and psychologists will include conducting fieldwork in Bristol and abroad, investigating how we talk about kinship in speech and text, and modelling how social norms about family evolve over time and space. We welcome potential collaborators on this project, particularly those interested in cross-cultural children’s acquisition of kinship — please [get in touch].
The Varikin-Development subproject asks how children acquire concepts of kinship in different cultural contexts. The project's main focus is on Datooga-speaking children of Tanzania, using ethnographic and linguistic methods to explore how and when children experience and talk about kinship. In addition to these qualitative approaches to kinship socialisation, we are designing a set of stimuli-based tasks to elicit kinship knowledge from Datooga children of different ages. We will also conduct a number of these tasks with English-speaking children in Bristol and are keen to encourage comparative research from other parts of the world. The purpose of this OSF page is to make the fieldwork materials available to other researchers.
In January 2018, we held a two-day workshop called *Children's Acquisition of Kinship Concepts: Theory & Method*. Around 25 psychologists, linguists, and anthropologists came together to discuss past, present, and future research on how children develop an understanding of kinship relations. You can read more about the workshop [here].
[May 2021]: We are still in the process of uploading files for the toolkit -- please check back soon for more!