Kinship on TV

Birgitta Frello
Roskilde University, Denmark

Ladda ner artikel

Ingår i: Current Issues in European Cultural Studies; June 15-17; Norrköping; Sweden 2011

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 62:7, s. 49-54

Visa mer +

Publicerad: 2011-11-22

ISBN: 978-91-7519-993-1

ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


During recent years; DR the Danish public service television station has launched several documentary serials that focus on kinship and genealogy. Serials such as Sporløs (Find my family); Ved du hvem du er? (Who do you think you are) and Slavernes slægt (Slaves in the Family) all focus on biological kinship either as the primary topic of the series or as an organizing and meaning giving devise that provides a point of identification that can simultaneously serve as a vehicle for telling other stories.

All of the serials; however; privilege a biocentric notion of kinship and a tight relation between biological kinship and identity; taking for granted that knowing one’s biological kin automatically leads to a better understanding of one’s personal identity. The paper discusses the possible implications and consequences of this conceptualization of kinship; and it is argued that while the serials reproduce biocentric notions of kinship; they also in practice illustrate how pragmatic kinship is.


Inga nyckelord är tillgängliga


Carsten J. (2000). Introduction: cultures of relatedness. In Carsten; J. (ed.) Cultures of Relatedness. New Approaches to the Study of Kinship. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 1–36.

Carsten; J. (ed.) (2000). Cultures of Relatedness. New Approaches to the Study of Kinship. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Carsten; J. (2004): After Kinship. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Frello; B. (2004/2006). Slavernes slægt. Slægtshistorie som personlig fortælling og kritisk diskurs. Tidsskriftet Antropologi; 50; 93–109.

Frello; B. (2008). Towards a discursive analytics of movement: On the making and unmaking of movement as an object of knowledge. Mobilities; 3(1); 25–50.

Frello; B. (2010). Dark Blood. Kult; 7; 69–84. Frello; B. Forthcoming: Sporløs – Om biologi; identitet og slægten som fjernsyn. Mediekultur.

Howell S. (2007). The Kinning of Foreigners. Transnational Adoption in a Global Perspective. New York: Berghahn Books.

Kim; E. (2007). Our Adoptee; Our Alien: Transnational Adoptees as Specters of Foreignness and Family in South Korea. Anthropological Quarterly; 80(2); 497–531.

Marselis; R. (2008). Descendants of slaves: The articulation of mixed racial ancestry in a Danish television documentary series. European Journal of Cultural Studies; 11(4); 447– 469.

Petersen; L.M. (2009). Adopteret – fortællinger om transnational og racialiseret tilblivelse. Aarhus Universitet.

Somers; Margaret R. 1994: The narrative constitution of identity: A relational and network approach. I: Theory and Society No.23.

Yngvesson; B. & Mahoney; M. A. (2000). ’As One Should; Ought and Wants to Be’: Belonging and Authenticity in Identity Narratives. Theory; Culture & Society; 17(6); 77– 110.

Yngvesson. B. (2007). Refiguring Kinship in the Space of Adoption. Anthropological Quarterly; 80(2); 561–579.

Citeringar i Crossref