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Journal Articles Sociology Mind Year : 2016

Parenthood and the Wayana People

Parentezco y parentalidad de los Wayana de la Guayana francesa

Parenté et parentalité chez le Wayana de la Guyane française

Parentela e genitorialità presso i Wayana della Guyana francese


This paper presents the first results obtained from an exploratory study which is conducted within the Amerindian Wayana communities who inhabit the Amazon sector of the High Maroni area, in French Guiana. Based on an ecological and interactionist approach and employing comprehensive methods to analyze observed facts (to bypass the nostalgic attitude fostering the paradigmatic anthropological dichotomy " tradition vs; modernity "), this study describes educational family practices among Wayana and analyses parents' expectations vis-à-vis their children in the framework of the postcolonial dynamic, with the aim to understand the influence of the national public policies to diffuse certain domestic praxis. The ethnographic corpus is gathered during a long fieldwork and it is accompanied by seventeen semi-open interviews. The interpretative approach attempts to link the observed behaviours observed to contextual and cultural variables. Following the analysis of the data, the authors propose 1) a diagram of the structure of Wayana family kin-ship Microsystems (with a description and a diagram of the Wayana matrilineality scheme); 2) a description of roles and educational functions within their communities and, finally, 3) an overview of parental expectations interpreted taking into account the influences of contemporary inter -systemic interactions (and above all the dynamics generated by the recent introduction of compulsory schooling into the area).
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hal-01345445 , version 1 (13-07-2016)



Maurizio Alì, Rodica Ailincai. Parenthood and the Wayana People. Sociology Mind, 2016, 6 (3), pp.149-161. ⟨10.4236/sm.2016.63013⟩. ⟨hal-01345445⟩
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