Kinship, computing, and anthropology

Document Type



Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations, London; Faculty of Arts and Sciences


This article proposes two important points aboutgenealogicalsoftware: (a) Not all such software need necessarily be complicated or address high level theoretical issues, and (b) diversity of data, processing, and infrastructure means that it is particularly desirable that scholars begin to understand software tools as utilities that should have flexibility, including platform independence built into the design from the outset. Following a discussion of high performance packages used by White and Houseman to analyze social networks from marital data, the authors present examples from their research that suggest that even apparently trivial,nonanalytictasks that form part of the process of preparing data for higher end analyses may yield exciting and productive results. The authors conclude with a statement on the nature of e-science in anthropology and the implications for the types of software that will be most useful.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Social Science Computer Review