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Inheritance and Society

  1. Paul Atkinson,
  2. Aditya Bharadwaj,
  3. Katie Featherstone

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0005659



How to Cite

Atkinson, P., Bharadwaj, A. and Featherstone, K. 2006. Inheritance and Society. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


The social practices and beliefs surrounding kinship, procreation and inheritance are highly varied. Certainly, they do not necessarily reflect the models of biological inheritance identified by genetic science. Such beliefs are not the preserve of ‘other’ cultures. There is research evidence of complex belief systems among Western populations that are not coterminous with genetic science.


  • kinship;
  • descent;
  • inheritance;
  • genetics;
  • cross-cultural