Incorporating incomers and creating kinship in the Scottish Highlands


  • Kimberley Masson University of Edinburgh



This article challenges the common perception of Scottish kinship as a matter of clans and tartans by presenting relatedness in the Highland region as performative, processual, and incorporative. This involves a close look at the treatment of incomers and the language practices which appear to activate these forward-looking kinship patterns. The article is situated in - and about - Highland houses where everyday kinship and language use is exemplified. The purpose of the paper is to encourage a rethink of Highland 'community' and the effects of historical migration while reiterating the centrality of kinship studies in anthropology.

Author Biography

Kimberley Masson, University of Edinburgh

Kimberley Masson is a postgraduate in anthropology at the University of Edinburgh. The kinship and belonging ideas presented here form the backdrop of her PhD. Current research is on experiences of fertility decisions and the wider context of fertility decline in Scotland. Contact her at K.A.Masson(AT)