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I Mangaffa Siha Late Colonial Conceptualizations of the Chamorro Family

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By Lisa Linda Natividad Associate Professor and Chair of the Division of Social Work University of Guam lisanati@yahoo.com

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Abstract: The family is often credited with being the rope that binds Chamorro society together. Nonetheless, present-day Chamorro families struggle with the role of the family system in the context of westernization and modernization. Maladaptive behavioral manifestations, such as family violence and drug and alcohol dependency, are often equated with being culturally “Chamorro.” In examining late colonial conceptualizations of the Chamorro family, an old paradigm is reintroduced that highlights the beauty of traditional Chamorro practices relative to gender roles in the family system, marital dynamics, and the parenting of children. In addition, practices around peacemaking and peace keeping in the family clan will be discussed to challenge the assumption that family violence and drug and alcohol dependency are cultural practices. Lastly, early accounts described the Chamorro family composition as transcending blood relations to include people who shared a special relationship with familial clans. These types of relationships will also be explored. Editor’s Note: This paper, presented at the Marianas History Conference, was not made available for publication.

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Presentation slides begin on the following page.


2nd Marianas History Conference 2013 ・ !163

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