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The relationship that a person has to the blood relatives of a spouse by virtue of the marriage.

The doctrine of affinity developed from a Maxim of Canon Law that a Husband and Wife were made one by their marriage. There are three types of affinity. Direct affinity exists between the husband and his wife's relations by blood, or between the wife and the husband's relations by blood. Secondary affinity is between a spouse and the other spouse's relatives by marriage. Collateral affinity exists between a spouse and the relatives of the other spouse's relatives. The determination of affinity is important in various legal matters, such as deciding whether to prosecute a person for Incest or whether to disqualify a juror for bias.


(Family ties), noun affiliation, ancestry, blood relative, brethren, clan, cognatio, cognation, common annestry, coniunctio, connection, consanguinitas, family, family connection, filiation, heritage, kindred, kinship, lineage, linkage, necessitudo, offspring, parentage, propinquitas, relation, relation by blood, relationship, tribe
Associated concepts: challenge to a prospective juror based on affinity
Foreign phrases: Affinis mei affinis non est mihi affinis.One who is related by marriage to a person who is related to me by marriage has no af finity to me.


(Regard), noun affection, attachment, attraction, closeness, concern, devotion, fondness, friendliness, good will, inclination, liking, love, natural liking, predilection, proclivity, propensity, sympathy, tenderness
See also: agreement, analogy, blood, chain, conformity, connection, consortium, inclination, instinct, kinship, nexus, partiality, penchant, predilection, propensity, propinquity, rapport, relation, relationship, relevance, resemblance


the relationship or connection between one spouse and the blood relatives of the other. See CONSANGUINITY.

AFFINITY. A connexion formed by marriage, which places the husband in the same degree of nominal propinquity to the relations of the wife, as that in which she herself stands towards them, and gives to the wife the same reciprocal connexion with the relations of the husband. It is used in contradistinction to consanguinity. (q.v.) It is no real kindred.
     2. Affinity or alliance is very different from kindred. Kindred are relations. by blood; affinity is the tie which exists between one of the spouses with the kindred of the other; thus, the relations, of my wife, her brothers, her sisters, her uncles, are allied to me by affinity, and my brothers, sisters, &c., are allied in the same way to my wife. But my brother and the sister of my wife are not allied by the ties of affinity: This will appear by the following paradigms

     My wife's father ---|
     | |
     | |
     -----------------| |
     | | |-- are all allied to me. Ego ----- My Wife My wife's sister ---|
     | |
     My wife's niece ---|
     My wife's father ---|
     My Father | | |My brother
     | | | |and my wife's
     | | | |sister are
    |---------------| |----------| |not allied
    | | | | |to each other My brother Ego ---- My wife, My wife's sister |

     3. A person cannot, by legal succession, receive an inheritance from a relation by affinity; neither does it extend to the nearest relations of husband and wife, so as to create a mutual relation between them. The degrees of affinity are computed in the same way as those of consanguinity. See Pothier, Traite du Mariage, part 3, ch. 3, art. 2, and see 5 M. R. 296; Inst. 1, 10, 6; Dig. 38, 10, 4, 3; 1 Phillim. R. 210; S. C. 1 Eng. Eccl. R. 72; article Marriage.

References in periodicals archive ?
Ordinary people, however, also sought to exploit that new space through elaborating strategies based on kin, affinal and other personalized networks.
The study of marriage networks favours an approach to kinship and marriage in which primary emphasis is given neither to classificatory schemes nor to normative precepts, but to the patterning of actual consanguinal and affinal connections.
I owe the term 'tension' to Susan McKinnon (1991), who applies it to a similar relationship between affinal groups in the Tanimbar Islands.
The father/guardian who has arranged the affinal compact (struck without either cognizance or consent of the two main parties that it binds), is a man who stands to benefit.
On the whole the small exogamic segments, the bilateral nature of kinship, the loose definition or lax compliance to marriage taboos, and the tenuous nature of communal unity contributed to a situation where affinal ties and filiative ties were somewhat superimposed.
I shall not, however, further elaborate these theoretical propositions, as kin classification terminology--be it with or without specific affinal sets--and marriage prescription, whether jural (Leach 1965) or structural (Needham 1973), have no direct influences on ethnographically recognisable principles of lineality in Australia.
One of the women's brothers was most unhappy with this arrangement and used to castigate his sister for depriving him of affinal relations.
He discusses the plots of both narratives in structuralist terms, following Levi-Strauss (1955: 428-444) in emphasising the ways in which contradictions between affinal and blood relations are symbolically resolved.
In India, 59% of the unmarried women had experienced violence from their natal family members, friends, and neighbours, and 54% of the ever-married women had faced violence from affinal family members, natal family members, friends, and neighbours.
And, according to Anton Blok, the agnatic or affinal "family" that one is born or marries into must always be subordinated to the ritualized "Family" into which the Mafioso enters through a symbolic ritual.
His work would be more broadly useful if it included consanguineally extended households and kin groups or even affinally extended ones, such as polygamous units, or affinal exchange systems.
However, that small unit had affinal relatives (we call them in-laws), some of whom lived together in what anthropologists call a band.