Networks and Marginality

Networks and Marginality

Life in a Mexican Shantytown

1st Edition - January 1, 1977

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  • Author: Larissa Adler Lomnitz
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483268811

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Networks and Marginality: Life in a Mexican Shantytown describes the life and survival of economically marginal or poor people in Cerrada del Cóndor, a shantytown of about 200 houses in the southern part of Mexico City. The field work is carried out between 1969 and 1971 using combined anthropological and quantitative methods. This book is composed of 10 chapters and begins with an overview of the theoretical concepts essential for an adequate comprehension of the later chapters, followed by a summary of the development and evolution of Mexico City as they relate to Cerrada del Cóndor. Considerable chapters examine the migration process, the economy, the family and kinship patterns, and the reciprocity networks and associated mechanisms of survival value in the shantytown. The remaining chapters discuss some of the relevant theoretical points raised by the findings, including the reciprocity, the confianza concept, and the importance of informal economic exchange in complex urban societies. This book will prove useful to economists, anthropologists, social scientists, and researchers.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword

    Preface to the English Edition

    1 Introduction

    Some Preliminary Findings

    A Design for Survival

    City and Countryside in Latin America

    An Ecological View of Migration

    Urban Growth and Shantytowns

    A Theory of Marginalization

    2 The Setting

    Mexico: Urbanization and Growth

    Underemployment in Mexico

    Mexico City: An Overview

    Low-Income Housing in Mexico City

    Cerrada del Cóndor

    Some Impressions of Shantytown Life

    3 Migration

    An Ecological Model of the Migration Process

    Migration Processes in Latin America

    A Historical Sketch of Migration in Mexico

    Migration and Cerrada del Cóndor

    4 Shantytown Economy

    Cerrada del Cóndor: Occupational Structure

    Unpaid Family Labor

    Economic Levels

    Occupation and Economic Level

    Income and Economic Level

    Housing and Property Ownership in Cerrada del Cóndor

    Material Belongings

    Economic Level and Life-Styles

    Schooling and Economic Levels

    An Informal Rotating Credit Institution: Tanda

    Summary and Conclusions

    5 Family and Kinship

    Marital Roles

    The Nuclear Family

    The Household: Definition

    Types of Households

    Some Comparisons of Households

    The Residential Pattern


    Relatives in the Country

    6 Networks of Reciprocal Exchange

    Classification of Reciprocity Networks

    Networks in Cerrada del Cóndor

    Analysis of a Residential Complex: Pericos Court

    Networks and Kindreds: The Villela Macronetwork

    Networks and Kinship

    7 Compadrazgo

    Compadrazgo in Cerrada del Cóndor

    Some Conclusions on Compadrazgo in Cerrada del Cóndor

    8 Formal and Informal Associations


    Local and National Associations

    9 Reciprocity and Confianza

    What Is Reciprocity?

    Scales of Reciprocity in Cerrada del Cóndor

    Confianza: A Variable of Reciprocal Exchange

    Confianza and Exchange in Cerrada del Cóndor

    Patron-Client Relations: The Cacique

    A Final Note on Forms of Exchange

    10 Conclusions

    Some Basic Concepts


    Living in Cerrada del Cóndor

    The Future of Reciprocity



Product details

  • No. of pages: 246
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 1977
  • Published: January 1, 1977
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483268811

About the Author

Larissa Adler Lomnitz

About the Editor

E. A. Hammel

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