In order to be part of the socio-political dialogue within Europe, anthropologists have to address questions which are policy relevant. In this paper, I examine under which epistemological and methodological conditions the study of kinship – a core topic of the discipline – can become useful
in the debates regarding family changes in contemporary Europe. Next to large statistical databases that delineate gross divergences and convergences in family trends, the anthropological gaze helps explain various lifemodes. As part of this scheme, an ongoing programme aiming at comparing kinship
interactions in various European countries, KASS (Kinship and Social Security) is presented.