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ANTC09H3 (18)
Lecture 4

Week 4 Readings

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Sandra Bamford

Week 4Mary WeismantelMaking kin kinship theory and Zumabgua adoptions Zumbagua in highland EcuadorAchi wawa godchildFrom the perspective ofzumbagua where people become parents by feeding and caring for children over extended periods of time both schools of thought are not only inadequate to explain fully the material bases of local practice but are representative of a specific westernborgeois ideology that indigenous people actively oppose 686In a diverse and unequal society it is unsurprising that individuals and communities create families that do not conform to the hegemonic idealIn debates about custody adoption abortion and reproductive technologies the public searches for a suddenly elusive definition of paternity and maternity The social fabric of zumbagua is made up of small households based on lifelong heterosexual marriages a pattern that superficially resembles the conservative euroamerican ideal embraced by the Mississippi judgeThe bonds people form with one another in the parish are based on an understanding of relatedness that differs strikingly from euroamerican principlesAbsent from zumbagua discourse are those anxieties over natural and unnatural parents that look so large in the popular imagination of los angelenos 687In los angeles as in latin America poor and marginalized communities have had to create strong flexible kinship systems in order to surviveIn zumbagua these aspects of intimate daily life form part of a larger struggle against a national society seen as acutely hostile to the very survival of the indigenous communityEuroamerican preoccupations with consanguinity are not irrelevant to indigenous residents of zumbagua but instead represent one particular aspect of the many ideological pressures to which they must respond TheoryJural Fathers natural mothers the elementary family 688 one result of this implicit dependence on blood being thicker than water is that the institution of adoption has constituted something a conundrum for kinship theoristsAdoption was troubling for malinknowski for it undermined his conviction that in the domain of kinship above all others cultural processes tend to follow the lead of innate biological drives
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