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ERIC Number: EJ841783
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 18
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0095-182X
Urban Clan Mothers: Key Households in Cities
Lobo, Susan
American Indian Quarterly, v27 n3-4 p505-522 Sum-Fall 2003
Although each urban Indian community is distinctive, there are a number of common features or characteristics that are found in most urban Indian communities. The salient characteristics of the San Francisco Bay Area Indian community and many other urban Indian communities are that they are multitribal and therefore multicultural; dispersed residentially; comprised of a network of individuals, families, and organizations; encompass a number of economic levels; are multigenerational; and extremely fluid. In sum, Indian urban communities differ substantially from more visible ethnic-based neighborhoods. The role of Urban Clan Mothers and why they and their households are so crucial can best be understood within the context and through a clear delineation of urban Indian community social structuring and community dynamics. Indian people living in urban areas understand this structuring; their survival often depends on it. The discussion presented in this article summarizes the rationale for having a clear picture of the nature of urban Indian communities, as well as some of the characteristics of urban communities. This discussion is based on long-term fieldwork since the 1970s in the San Francisco Bay Area American Indian community and less extensive work in other urban Indian communities throughout the United States. The fieldwork includes the standard anthropological tradition of immersion, that is, through participant observation, extensive note-taking, and interviews, but more importantly through years of applied work in a number of Bay Area Indian organizations. This has allowed the author to more fully gain insights into relationship dynamics, process, appropriate cadence, and protocols, while at the same time making a contribution to community well-being through collaborative project work. Though the majority of the research on which this discussion is based was carried out in the San Francisco Bay Area, much of what is presented in this article can be generalized to reflect urban Indian communities in the United States and Canada. (Contains 24 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States