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Kinship and politics in a Midwestern University city.

Economou, Leonidas (1994) Kinship and politics in a Midwestern University city. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

This thesis is an ethnographic study of kinship and municipal politics in a Midwestern American University city and it is based on anthropological fieldwork undertaken between January 1989 and July 1990. The research on kinship is drawn from information gathered from a sample of white middle-class informants. The kinship relations of these informants were characterized by great practical and ideological variation, and their views are described by two competing models. On the one hand there are those who invested kinship relationships with strong social and moral meaning and believed that they were grounded in and determined by natural facts. In contrast, there were those who downplayed the natural basis of kinship relations and stressed the right of every individual to seek self-fulfilment unfettered by familial restrictions. The study of municipal politics is based on a strategically selected sample of individuals and groups belonging to all of the different political factions in the city. Municipal politics attracted a relatively large amount of interest among residents and the political conflicts were related mainly to the rate and quality of the city's economic growth. Despite the existence of a significant movement supporting "controlled growth", the advocates of growth dominated city politics, and economic development was regarded by the majority of informants as both the inevitable and desirable result of social evolution. There was no direct correlation between kinship and political ideology: those who supported economic growth took a plurality of positions on kinship matters and the same is largely true for their political opponents.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Anthropology, Cultural
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/1285

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