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Categories and ContextsAnthropological and Historical Studies in Critical Demography$
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Simon Szreter, Hania Sholkamy, and A. Dharmalingam

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199270576

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2004

DOI: 10.1093/0199270570.001.0001

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‘Un noviazgo después de ser casados’ * : Companionate Marriage, Sexual Intimacy, and the Modern Mexican Family

‘Un noviazgo después de ser casados’ * : Companionate Marriage, Sexual Intimacy, and the Modern Mexican Family

(p.249) 14Un noviazgo después de ser casados*: Companionate Marriage, Sexual Intimacy, and the Modern Mexican Family
Categories and Contexts

Jennifer S. Hirsch

Oxford University Press

Highlights the ways in which marital ideologies are socially constructed and historically variable and suggests how transformations in these marital ideologies and their social categories can contribute to an understanding of fertility decline. The ethnographic material presented here comes from a multi‐generational study of gender, sexuality, and reproductive health among women and men in a community of transnational migrants in western Mexico and Atlanta, Georgia. Older couples in this community spoke about marriage in terms of ‘respeto’: mutual respect, gendered work obligations, and bonds of marriage, which are reinforced through reproduction. Younger couples, in contrast, presented an ideal of ‘confianza’: companionate marriage marked by a significant amount of ‘helping’ with previously gendered tasks, increased heterosociality, and greater emphasis on trust, emotional warmth, and communication than on obligation and respect.

Keywords:   companionate marriage, confianza, ethnography, fertility decline, gender, Mexico, respeto, sexuality, social categories, transnational migration

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