[crm-sig] family relations

Christian-Emil Ore c.e.s.ore at muspro.uio.no
Mon Oct 20 22:44:19 EEST 2003

Dear all,

We (Unit for digital documentation, University of Oslo)  are designing and 
a database for the historic student matricle at the University of Oslo We 
want to make the student/person database as CRM-compatible as possible, but 
my collegue Jon Holmen  (who are repsonsible for this project and doing the 
work) pointed out that CRM is very operational  and biologically focused 
with respect to the core relations between family members (siblings, parents):

  A person is in CRM connected to his/her parents through a birth event. 
That is in priciple perfect and it is easy to convert the information about 
a student's parents in the registry to a birth event connecting the student 
to the parents. But in more than very few cases on of the parents can be 
step parent or the student can be adopted. In a theoretical cultural study 
sence on may think of a symbolic birth here (eg. giving the birth event a 
type "symbolic birth" through the has-type property), but I done like that 
solution. Instead it is more reasonable to think of an adoption as a kind 
of speech act, like marriage, though mostly in writing. Thus it seems more 
natural to model the establishment of a formal parential link between 
persons as an attribute assignment with a special type with a proper 
shortcut if the information about this speech act is not available or out 
of scope.

In principle the relation "father child" has until the DNA-test become 
available, always been a juridical relation, e.g. the "pater est" rule used 
as a default rule to declare the child's mother's husbond as the child's 
father in many contries and cultures.

Any comments?


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