This innovative book takes a fresh look at the anthropology of kinship and the comparative study of relatedness. Kinship has historically been central to the discipline of anthropology but what sort of future does it have? What is the impact of recent studies of reproductive technologies, of gender, and of the social construction of science in the West? What significance does public anxiety about the family, or new family forms in the West have for anthropology's analytic strategies? The study of kinship has rested on a distinction between the 'biological' and the 'social'. But recent technological developments have made this distinction no longer self-evident. What does this imply about the comparison of kinship institutions cross-culturally? Janet Carsten gives an approachable and original view of the past, present, and future of kinship in anthropology, which will be of interest not just to anthropologists but to social scientists generally.