Shaping the Motherhood of Indigenous Mexico (Paperback)
  • Shaping the Motherhood of Indigenous Mexico (Paperback)
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Shaping the Motherhood of Indigenous Mexico (Paperback)

(author)
£30.95
Paperback 264 Pages / Published: 30/05/2013
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Mainstream Mexican views of indigenous women centre on them as problematic mothers, and development programmes have included the goal of helping these women become ""good mothers."" Economic incentives and conditional cash transfers are the vehicles for achieving this goal.

With ethnographic immediacy, Shaping the Motherhood of Indigenous Mexico examines the dynamics among the various players - indigenous mothers, clinicians, and representatives of development programmes. The women's voices lead the reader to understand the structures of dependency that paradoxically bind indigenous women within a programme that calls for their empowerment.

The cash transfer programme is Oportunidades, which enrolls more than a fifth of Mexico's population. It expects mothers to become involved in their children's lives at three nodes - health, nutrition, and education. If women do not comply with the standards of modern motherhood, they are dropped from the programme and lose the bi-monthly cash payments.

Smith-Oka explores the everyday implementation of the program and its unintended consequences. The mothers are often berated by clinicians for having too many children (Smith-Oka provides background on the history of eugenics and population control in Mexico) and for other examples of their ""backward"" ways. An entire chapter focuses on the humor indigenous women use to cope with disrespectful comments. Ironically, this form of resistance allows the women to accept the situation that controls their behaviour.

Publisher: Vanderbilt University Press
ISBN: 9780826519184
Number of pages: 264
Weight: 390 g
Dimensions: 230 x 154 x 19 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"This is an important book. The death penalty's impact is so much broader than we realize, and these attorneys are affected in ways that even I had not imagined. I am grateful to Susannah Sheffer for bringing these stories to light." --Sister Helen Prejean, author of "Dead Man Walking" and "The Death of Innocents"
"Susannah Sheffer is a gifted and deeply compassionate interviewer and she has written a beautiful, heartbreaking, and above all uplifting story that makes an essential contribution to literature on the death penalty." --Richard Burr, death penalty defense attorney

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