Children, Caregiving, Culture, and Community: Understanding the Place and Importance of Kith and Kin Care in the White Mountain Apache Community

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/194817
Title:
Children, Caregiving, Culture, and Community: Understanding the Place and Importance of Kith and Kin Care in the White Mountain Apache Community
Author:
Sparks, Shannon
Issue Date:
2007
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
The use of family, friends, and neighbors ("kith and kin") as caregivers for young children is a common practice in many cultural minority and impoverished communities in the U.S. Such caregivers often serve as trusted, familiar, affordable, and accessible sources of care, however, the quality of such "informal" child care is often questioned. This, I contend, is a consequence of the application of narrow constructs of quality derived from the values, practices, and experiences of the dominant class and culture.This dissertation details the roles that kith and kin caregivers fill in the White Mountain Apache community in east-central Arizona, and the functions such caregiving performs. Being in the care of kith and kin is important in giving children a sense of "place" within their extended family and the community. It teaches them their relations as well as the role and importance of family and community and reciprocity, and builds and reinforces family and community networks. It places children in the hands of grandmothers and other individuals with high cultural capital, hence providing a space, time, and opportunity for cultural learning. Kith and kin caregiving thus assists in the preservation of Apache language and culture by providing not only a context for cultural transmission and access to those with the greatest cultural knowledge and linguistic competence, but also by reinforcing a pedagogical role central to Apache culture and emphasizing the importance of family.While important, such functions of kith and kin care are ones not easily accounted for in existing constructions of quality. In order for standards of quality to have any meaning or utility in cultural minority communities, I argue that we need to encourage the development and utilization of culture and context specific definitions of caregiving quality and the inclusion of community standards. Constructs of quality must also speak to the well-being of children in their own communities and cultures. For Native communities, the incorporation of Native culture and language into child care programming and settings is essential to the health, maintenance, and cultural survival of these communities.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
child care; kith and kin caregivers; quality; health and well-being; community; Western Apache
Degree Name:
PhD
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Anthropology; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Nichter, Mark A.
Committee Chair:
Nichter, Mark A.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleChildren, Caregiving, Culture, and Community: Understanding the Place and Importance of Kith and Kin Care in the White Mountain Apache Communityen_US
dc.creatorSparks, Shannonen_US
dc.contributor.authorSparks, Shannonen_US
dc.date.issued2007en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe use of family, friends, and neighbors ("kith and kin") as caregivers for young children is a common practice in many cultural minority and impoverished communities in the U.S. Such caregivers often serve as trusted, familiar, affordable, and accessible sources of care, however, the quality of such "informal" child care is often questioned. This, I contend, is a consequence of the application of narrow constructs of quality derived from the values, practices, and experiences of the dominant class and culture.This dissertation details the roles that kith and kin caregivers fill in the White Mountain Apache community in east-central Arizona, and the functions such caregiving performs. Being in the care of kith and kin is important in giving children a sense of "place" within their extended family and the community. It teaches them their relations as well as the role and importance of family and community and reciprocity, and builds and reinforces family and community networks. It places children in the hands of grandmothers and other individuals with high cultural capital, hence providing a space, time, and opportunity for cultural learning. Kith and kin caregiving thus assists in the preservation of Apache language and culture by providing not only a context for cultural transmission and access to those with the greatest cultural knowledge and linguistic competence, but also by reinforcing a pedagogical role central to Apache culture and emphasizing the importance of family.While important, such functions of kith and kin care are ones not easily accounted for in existing constructions of quality. In order for standards of quality to have any meaning or utility in cultural minority communities, I argue that we need to encourage the development and utilization of culture and context specific definitions of caregiving quality and the inclusion of community standards. Constructs of quality must also speak to the well-being of children in their own communities and cultures. For Native communities, the incorporation of Native culture and language into child care programming and settings is essential to the health, maintenance, and cultural survival of these communities.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectchild careen_US
dc.subjectkith and kin caregiversen_US
dc.subjectqualityen_US
dc.subjecthealth and well-beingen_US
dc.subjectcommunityen_US
dc.subjectWestern Apacheen_US
thesis.degree.namePhDen_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineAnthropologyen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorNichter, Mark A.en_US
dc.contributor.chairNichter, Mark A.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberGriffin-Pierce, Trudyen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberJoe, Jennie R.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberNichter, Mimien_US
dc.identifier.proquest2407en_US
dc.identifier.oclc659748308en_US
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