Expectations Thwarted. Support and conflict in an urban later life family, Guanajuato, Mexico

by Maria Isabelle Mikalsen

Institution: Universitetet i Tromsø
Year: 2014
Keywords: conflict ; family ; urban ; modernisation ; expectations ; Mexico ; agency ; structures ; VDP::Social science: 200::Social anthropology: 250
Record ID: 1294446
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10037/6831


This research thesis is based on participant observation conducted with and without a movie camera with a family consisting of 94 year old Dolores, 54 year old Leticia and 27 year old Rodrigo from Guanajuato City in Central Mexico. By carrying out fieldwork in the months of April to August 2012 I have explored care-dynamics in the family and how their relationships unfold within the ever changing and unstable characteristics of modernity. The three generations all experience expectations, norms and ideals on what family support “should be like”, however the actual reality that the individuals experience sometimes fail to live up to these expectations. The family struggle to live up to the ideas of coexistence and to support each other in their everyday lives. Why do they struggle? And why are the behaviours and emotions of this urban later life family at odds with local notions of family care?