Negotiating familial ideals through conversational narrative: Relationships of exchange in a Quiteño family

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Title: Negotiating familial ideals through conversational narrative: Relationships of exchange in a Quiteño family
Creators: Nelms, Taylor C.
Advisor: Cohen, Jeffrey; Webber, Sabra
Issue Date: 2006-06
Abstract: This thesis utilizes data collected during the summer of 2005 to present a case-study ethnography of one middle-class mestizo family from Quito, Ecuador. It focuses on material and cultural constructions of ideal family roles and relationships fashioned and negotiated through stories told by family members to me and to each other, always in conversation. These conversational constructions, or tropes, discursively define the family and simultaneously structure decision-making. My focus rests on economic decision-making, and I investigate two key tropic constructions: cariño (care), which collapses economic and affective familial logics, and paternalism, in which a father, actual and symbolic, cares for an entire lineage—both his own direct kin and the families of his siblings—through the distribution of cariño. These tropes shape family members’ behavior and their relationships with each other. I end with a discussion of the potential for change, first detailing temporal transformations in tropes of the ideal father and then offering an example of the potential for the narrative contestation and transformation of tropic constructions of the ideal family. Advisors: Jeffrey Cohen and Sabra Webber
Series/Report no.: The Ohio State University. Department of Anthropology Honors Theses; 2006
The Ohio State University. Department of Comparative Studies Honors Theses; 2006
Keywords: family
Sponsors: OSU's Colleges of the Arts and Sciences Honors Office
The Honors Collegium
OSU's Undergraduate Student Government
Description: Various incarnations of this thesis were presented for the 2006 College of Humanities Undergraduate Research Colloquium, the 2006 Richard J. and Martha D. Denman Undergraduate Research Forum, the OSU Folklore Student and Alumni Conference, and to members of the Society for Economic Anthropology at their annual meeting in April 2006.
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