Family and Kinship in the Spanish and Mexican Borderlands

Ramón A. Gutiérrez

in On the Borders of Love and Power

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780520272385
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780520951341 | DOI:
Family and Kinship in the Spanish and Mexican Borderlands

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Over the span of history, notions of both biological and fictive kinship have had varying degrees of influence. In this chapter on the history of the family as it evolved in both Europe and the Spanish and Mexican borderlands in the US Southwest, Gutiérrez demonstrates how intense emotional relationships between individuals not related by blood often constituted bonds of affection and obligation that were family-like in the deepest sense. Beginning with a discussion of the family during the Roman era, the essay proceeds to an analysis of evolving state-Catholic definitions and tensions over the nature and meaning of family membership.

Keywords: biological kinship; fictive kinship; family; Spanish borderlands; Mexican borderlands; Catholic; Rome; Southwest

Chapter.  10668 words. 

Subjects: Local and Family History

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