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Department of Social Anthropology


Decolonise Anthropology Seminar with Anna Ramos- Zayas

Parenting empires: A moral economy of priviledge, whiteness, and interiority currency in latin american elite neighborhoods


In this presentation I draw from a recent comparative ethnographic project in which I examined the intersection of race, class, and parenting in two affluent Latin American neigbourhoods: El Condado (in San Juan, Puerto Rico) and Ipanema of privileged parenting –actively performed, ornamented by consumption goods, (in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).  My goal was to understand how an ubiquitous form and embroiled in child-centered concerns with interior worlds, fitness, and and self-fashioning influenced regional class and racialization projects.  Most security— has come to transform urbanism, personhood, and perspectives on race and class in Latin America.  I analyze how emerging forms of adult sociability of the white elite parents in my ethnography were invested in shifting the landscapes; deploying Orientalist narratives and genealogies; presenting an sociological field from the material to the metaphysical through a personal focus on the cultivation of an “interiority currency,” which roughly involved attributing therapeutic qualities to nature, the outdoors, and beachfront evolved masculinity as evidence of gender equality; and situating capitalist currency and projects of the self and personhood among Latin American elites.  Achievements in a language of miracles were tools for cultivating interiority currency as a white privilege project.  In this presentation, I highlight the power of white privilege not only in terms of its visible, surface manifestations, but in its contributions to the crafting of interiority.

Monday, 8 March, 2021 - 17:00 to 19:00
Event location: 
Online - Zoom