Working through Daughters

Diane C. Perlov

in Drink, Power, and Society in the Andes

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780813033068
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038575 | DOI:
Working through Daughters

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This chapter explores women's work, power, and educational mobility among the chicheras in rural Bolivia. In particular, it examines how some women gain significant economic and social independence through brewing but yet tend to favor the educational advancement of their sons over their daughters because of the labor that the girls provide in the chicherias. The first section of this chapter outlines the theoretical issues relevant to the study. The second section deals with the village setting, while the third and fourth sections concentrate on the chichera, her activity as beer maker, and her goals, which emphasize the educational mobility of her children. It also describes this phenomenon as related to a woman's strategy for gaining and maintaining social power. The ethnographic case study of the chicheras of Pocona shows that the control of the chicha resource in 1978 constituted a power base for the female beer makers that was not tied to the power of men, achieved through relations with men, or justified as a tool of “persuading” men.

Keywords: chicheras; social power; highland Bolivia; daughters; educational mobility; women; beer maker; brewing; chicha

Chapter.  8657 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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