Title

Consanguinity, genetics and definitions of kinship in the UK Pakistani population

Document Type

Journal Article

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Place of Publication

United Kingdom

School

Medical and Health Sciences

RAS ID

24351

Comments

Originally published as: Bittles, A. H., & Small, N. A. (2016). Consanguinity, genetics and definitions of kinship in the UK Pakistani population. Journal of biosocial science, 48(6), 844-854. Original article available here.

Abstract

Consanguineous marriage is a controversial topic in many Western societies, with attention mainly focused on the health of immigrant communities from Asia and Africa. In the UK consanguinity is especially prevalent in the Pakistani community, which now numbers over 1.1 million. Less attention has been paid to the influence of hereditary population stratification within Pakistani communities, in particular biraderi (literally brotherhood) membership, which denotes male lineages that largely govern marriage partner choice and hence the transmission of disease genes. The various roles played by biraderi and their relationship to other socio-occupational and kinship terms, such as caste, quom and zat, are often overlooked in health-based studies. The interchangeable use of these different kinship terms without rigorous definition can create identity uncertainty and hinders inter-study comparisons. Where feasible, standardization of terminology would be both desirable and beneficial, with biraderi the preferred default term to identify specific social and genetic relationships within the Pakistani diaspora.

DOI

10.1017/S0021932015000449

Access Rights

Not open access

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