28. Chick Eggs
TELLER: Once upon a time, O my listeners . . . but not
until you bear witness that God is One.
AUDIENCE: There is no god but God!
Once there was a girl, the daughter of a co-wife.1 And, as everybody
knows, a co-wife's daughter usually turns out meaner than her own
mother. Her stepmother hated her, always saying to her "Come here"
and "Go there" and giving her endless work to do.
The stepmother had a daughter of her own about the same age. One
day she said to her mother, "Mother, I want to go to the countryside
with my sister to gather
Although, as we have seen in chapter three, the peer group
played a vital role in the early and middle childhood of people
in this sample, the adult years for the deaf reintroduces the
family as a principal arena of social life. In this chapter I shall
discuss the important role that familylife plays in the adaptive
strategies that people develop as they age.
Deaf children who have had little contact with deaf adults
frequently have no conception of what their life will be like in
adulthood. They ask basic questions about themselves, such
The concept of a social contract is not, apparently, unique
to Locke and other Western thinkers. In South America the
notion is commonly held that human beings must constrain
their animal desires to enjoy the fruits of living together. The
problem seems to be how to reconcile oneself to the fact that
man is a solitary animal condemned to live in herds.
Roe 1982: 229–30
Judging from the favorite stories told around the evening fire, the main
dilemma of Matsigenka familylife is balancing the selfish and willful de-
sires of the individual against the compromises
The Impact on FamilyLife
It was a kingdom of elders where the youngsters lived lavishly.
That is what this war has brought for me. It took from me the most sacred thing every
person possesses—my parents. I must live with it all my life now. I do not know how
long I shall last.
THE SOCIOLOGY OF THE CHECHEN FAMILY
As it is in all contemporary societies, the family is the primary social institution
in Chechnya, and before the conflict, nuclear family structures and marriage
customs there were essentially similar to those in
FamilyLife: Infancy to Early Adulthood
Abstract discussion is important to an understanding of social organization,
but a concrete knowledge of the commonplace activities of everyday living
is equally important in understanding the functioning of a culture. The
description of the family system, which was the subject of chapter v,
could give only a few hints of the details of daily familylife. The customs
concerning the birth and early life of children, the influences which are
brought to bear on them from both the family and the community, their
FamilyLife: Maturity and Old Age
After marriage, a young man and a young woman are recognized as mature
members of the village community. They are not unprepared for the rou-
tines of their daily lives, for both, from childhood, have been acquiring
the skills they will use throughout life, and have been continually made
aware of their responsibilities. The main burden of their obligations comes
in mature life, that is, from the time of marriage to late middle age, when
their children are growing up and their parents and grandparents are grow-
of William Byrd
William Byrd was not a callous man, nor an impassive
one. He was certainly not crazy. Yet, in the spring of 1710, as his little
boy lay dying, he displayed an indifference that is baffling if not bizarre.
For more than three weeks, while his son's fate hung in perilous sus-
pension, Byrd scarcely troubled to try to turn the course of the fatal
fever. He hardly bothered to treat the child himself, though he diag-
nosed and dosed friends and veritable strangers on half a dozen occa-
sions during the same days. He did not call in
FamilyLife in new China
ye Duzheng was no leist, but he returned to China within a year of the Commu-
nist takeover. if the Communists had not emerged victorious in the Civil War, he
might never have returned: China under the nationalists was too corrupt and
chaotic. e founding of the People’s republic of China (PrC) in 1949 inspired new
hope for the country. As Chiang Kai-shek’s nationalist armies collapsed in the final
year of the Civil War, first Beijing and tianjin were “liberated,” then the Commu-
nist forces swept southward to occupy Shanghai and the
overwhelming majority of the lesbian couples
to whom I spoke about fi nances and the division of house hold labor.
Studies of heterosexual familylife tell us that, with few exceptions,
power dynamics and gender stratifi cation in these families are defi ned
by men’s greater earning power, in combination with gender ideologies.
Even when husbands earn less than their wives, a norm of greater male
power and decision- making authority is the dominant or ga niz ing prin-
ciple.1 Since the 1970s, feminist research on the division of labor in
families has strongly
FamilyLife and the Life Cycle in
Arthur P. Wolf
In the Western world marriage creates new families by robbing old
families of their children. In China marriage gives old families a future by
exchanging daughters for daughters-in-law. If a family has no sons or is
in desperate need of labor, a daughter may remain in her parent's home
where she is joined by her husband, and in this case the husband may
agree to assign one or more of his children to his wife's father's descent
line. More commonly and ideally, the wife joins her husband