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Intersticios sociales

versión On-line ISSN 2007-4964


CARRILLO HERNANDEZ, Edith. Mother only me. Grandmothers and child abduction in Mexico. Intersticios sociales [online]. 2020, n.19, pp.347-367.  Epub 25-Feb-2020. ISSN 2007-4964.

This essay analyzes the role of grandmothers in family abductions of infants, acts that unfairly deprive one parent of the right to live with her or his children. The grandmothers who encourage and/or participate in abducting a grandchild legitimize or justify this act in a framework of the symbolic violence they often exert against their daughters-in-law or daughters, whom they characterize as ‘bad mothers’. Based on in-depth interviews and the elaboration of the life histories of four women who suffered the abduction of a child in Mexico, our study examines how the social construction of conventional motherhood fosters situations of conflict and violence among women in the private domain. The abduction of infants is a paradigmatic expression of the power and control exercised by women who defend their domain and see themselves as the (only) “good” women-mothers.

Palabras llave : child abduction; motherhood; gender; symbolic violence.

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