Skip to main content
Select Source:

descent

descent, in anthropology, method of classifying individuals in terms of their various kinship connections. Matrilineal and patrilineal descent refer to the mother's or father's sib (or other group), respectively. Bilateral descent refers to descent derived from both sibs equally. Descent groups are of basic significance in the social structure of most nonindustrial societies. They constitute a series of social groups that dominate the domestic organization and the process of socialization, the use and transfer of property, the settlement of disputes, religious activities such as ancestor worship, and certain political relationships. Some lineage systems extend to the limits of the society itself. The Tiv of E Nigeria, for example, all consider themselves descendants in the male line of an eponymous ancestor, and the genealogy of this progeny defines the complete outline of descent group structure.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"descent." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"descent." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 23, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/descent

"descent." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved September 23, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/descent

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

descent

de·scent / diˈsent/ • n. 1. [usu. in sing.] an action of moving downward, dropping, or falling: the plane had gone into a steep descent. ∎  a downward slope, esp. a path or track: a steep, badly eroded descent. ∎  a moral, social, or psychological decline into a specified undesirable state: the ancient empire's slow descent into barbarism. 2. the origin or background of a person in terms of family or nationality: American families of Hungarian descent. ∎  the transmission of qualities, property, or privileges by inheritance. 3. (descent on) a sudden, violent attack: a descent on the enemy airstrip.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"descent." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"descent." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 23, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/descent

"descent." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved September 23, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/descent

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Descent

DESCENT

Hereditary succession. Succession to the ownership of an estate by inheritance, or by any act of law, as distinguished from purchase. Title by descent is the title by which one person, upon the death of another, acquires the real estate of the latter as an heir at law. The title by inheritance is in all cases called descent, although by statute law the title is sometimes made to ascend. The division among those legally entitled thereto of the real property of intestates.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Descent." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Descent." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 23, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/law/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/descent

"Descent." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Retrieved September 23, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/law/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/descent

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Descent

Descent

of woodpeckers: a flock of woodpeckersLipton, 1970; also descendants collectively.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Descent." Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Descent." Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 23, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/descent

"Descent." Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. . Retrieved September 23, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/descent

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

descent

descent, descent theory See KINSHIP.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"descent." A Dictionary of Sociology. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"descent." A Dictionary of Sociology. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 23, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/descent

"descent." A Dictionary of Sociology. . Retrieved September 23, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/descent

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Descent

Descent ★½ 2007 (NC-17)

Feminist empowerment or just revenge fantasy exploitation? College grad school student Maya (Dawson) is brutally raped by date Jared (Faust) in an attack that she doesn't report and that leaves her a basket case. She seems to get back some equilibrium by hitting the clubs and getting interested in dominating DJ Adrian (Patrick), which also appears to get Maya focused on planning revenge on Jared. Dawson's worth watching but the film is only so-so. Also available in an R-rated version. 104m/ C DVD . Rosario Dawson, Chad Faust, Marcus Patrick; D: Talia Lugacy; W: Talia Lugacy, Brian Priest; C: Christopher La Vasseur, Jonathan Furman-ski; M: Alex Moulton.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Descent." VideoHound's Golden Movie Retriever. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Descent." VideoHound's Golden Movie Retriever. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 23, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/culture-magazines/descent-0

"Descent." VideoHound's Golden Movie Retriever. . Retrieved September 23, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/culture-magazines/descent-0

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.