Five Families: Mexican Case Studies In The Culture Of Poverty / Edition 1 available in Paperback
One of the truly seminal works in modern cultural anthropology, Five Families is a dramatic and forceful account of the men, women, and children of five Mexican families and the impoverished communities in which they live.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Annabella Couto AP Environmental. This book is wonderfully written for the case study format, which can get very tedious and dry. It follows five families in Mexico during the 1950s. It focuses on varying levels on poverty, especially analyzing the family and societal structures. The author, an anthropologist, says that throughout history, little is known about the common folk's life, and that he thinks a large part of history is missing because of this. He stayed and studied with these families, the. After obtaining a large amount of information, he pieced together little snippets featuring the lives of each family. It is fascinating to see the prominence of Native Mexican culture in extremely rural areas, and the obsession of American culture in the outer circle of the city. As it is by family and follows a chronological path, it is very easy to get involved and attached to the characters, while learning about the Mexican household patriarchy, the merging of Catholicism, Protestantism, and Native spirituality, and various aspects of water usage and accessibility. As a family unit goes from rural farming, more pressure is put on the parents' marriage. Domestic violence is less acceptable, but still common. Those at the bottom economically, living in huts, have a reasonably equal quality of life as the urban because the urban have longer hours, less space, and less cleanliness. Modern medicine is available and trusted in urban areas, whereas in farming communities, health problems are treated with common sense and Native spirituality. Although some parts were lengthier, it was an enjoyable book. I advise it for anyone interested in detail, family life, history, and especially society, humanities or anthropology.
I chose to read this book to review in a sociology class which was specifically about race, ethnic, and gender relations. This book made me see what some people didn't have and compared it to what I have now. My husband is from Mexico and it also made me feel a little close and understand his older generations better.