‘Childless Children’. A Cross-Cultural Approach to Childlessness and Kinship.


  • Anna Piella Vila getp-GRAFO. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.


The conceptualizations and relations of people with no direct descendants are a field scarcely studied from Social Anthropology and has often been engulfed by the wide networks of family relationships. In this article, the concept “childless children” is proposed as an expression of the link between childlessness and kinship, that is, of the role of childless people in their family network. A cross-cultural perspective allows us to shape the social area of intersection between childlessness and kinship based on topic connections with: procreation as a duty, cultural palliatives to lack of reproduction, celibacy, circulation of children and intergenerational relationships.

Palabras clave

kinship relationships, childlessness, procreation, upbringing, shared parenthood




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