NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED550225
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 367
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2678-1759-4
How Working Poor Maya Migrant Families Acculturate to an Urban Setting--Daily Routines and Adaptation Strategies
Tovote, Katrin Erika
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Globally, an increasing number of people migrate from their rural communities to large cities. Despite the pervasive thinking that indigenous communities are solidified in space and strictly conserve cultural traditions, indigenous individuals and families increasingly leave their homelands to set up a new life in an urban environment mostly driven by the hope for improved job opportunities and the prospect of better living conditions. The present study investigates, on the basis of daily life activities, the adaption processes and strategies of poor working Maya migrant families within the urban environment of San Cristóbal de las Casas (SCLC), Southern Mexico. A multi-method study, consisting of semi-structured interviews (N = 125), ethnographic observations and talks, and a census, examined the routines and related attitudes of poor working Mayas males and females on different age groups with regards to migration history, living arrangements, working activities, gender roles, family planning, and elder care, etc. Three major conclusions could be drawn from the observed adaptation strategies: (1) Maya migrants of all ages constantly swiveled between personal and family goals by "pursuing individuality in the context of collectivism" in order to succeed in city life. (2) A "great variability of cultural values" existed not only between individuals and families but also "within individuals." Instead of relying on a general all-embracing attitude towards life--either traditional or modern--Maya migrants adopted varying attitudes and coping strategies depending on the particular aspect of life. (3) The hallmark of daily life activities and decisions was "pragmatism towards family well-being." People preferred either modern or traditional cultural concepts and practices, depending on which value system provided the better service to and protection of their family well-being. The present study contributes extensive, tangible data to the field of cultural and cross-cultural psychology, in its effort to understand and explain social change and human development. In addition, its results can be used to inform hands-on programs and policies that intend to improve the living and working situation of poor indigenous migrant families in SCLC and elsewhere. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Mexico