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versión impresa ISSN 0185-1659


RAMIREZ SANCHEZ, Martha Areli. Trabajo y ayuda mutua: Los niños y niñas de San Pedro Tlalcuapan. Cuicuilco [online]. 2015, vol.22, n.64, pp.203-222. ISSN 0185-1659.

In the field of social sciences, the 20th Century opened with the birth of a subfield of research into human development. The central theme was childhood, Freud [1901], Durkheim [1911] and Piaget [1923], among others, are recognized as the founders. The pioneering studies of the period laid the foundations for the creation of a dominant infant image in the 20th and 21st centuries. Physical, social, economic and emotional dependence are the cardinal features of this iconic image, which placed the child in a position of subordination within the adult world. In contrast, this paper presents some qualitative data documenting the particular way of life of children in a Nahua community in the Central Mexican state of Tlaxcala, a period that may continue until the boys and girls enter into marriage, when they 'officially' become adults, thus meaning, that through their daily family support, they are able to establish interdependent relationships with parents and the community at large and create a unique child-rearing system based on mutual help. The kind of childhood highlighted in this paper not only runs counter to the aforementioned universal image, but also allows the reader to understand why this childhood cultural context is the element that facilitates the social reproduction of indigenous peasant-family life. The ethnographic data reflected here opens the door to further reflection on gender; the more profound differences between male and female children in a farming community. However, this topic is not the main concern of the paper, the aim is for it to serve as an ethnographic reference that generates questions and thus provokes further research in this field.

Palabras llave : infancy; mutual help; child-rearing; social reproduction.

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