Oscar Lewis


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(1914–71) An American anthropologist, who vividly and sympathetically documented the experiences of Mexican and Puerto Rican families, and of what he termed the ‘culture of poverty’. His earliest work (Life in a Mexican Village, 1951) was a restudy of Tepotzlan, the Mexican village studied by Robert Redfield. His best-known (and best-selling) books, such as The Children of Sanchez (1961) and La Vida (1966), draw on lengthy interviews and recount in the words of his informants—with whom he became close friends—the life-stories of individual families. See also poverty.

From A Dictionary of Sociology in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Sociology.

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