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Care Giving and Social Character. Towards a Systematization of the Clinical Assessment of Social Character Traits and Their Relation to Mothers’ Care Giving Quality in Urban/Rural Mexican Samples

  • The theory of social character developed by Erich Fromm asserts that the significance of experience is intimately linked to the material conditions under which persons, located in a specific economic system, live. The shared character traits thus correspond to the social role that these persons play. In the case of women, existing literature does not focus on their function as reproducers of the work force within the family, although this is a generalized function and additional to out-of-home work. This function has a transcendent importance to the development and emotional health of children, as has been established in longitudinal research of attachment theory. This study explores Mexican mothers’ shared character traits, a systematized appraisal of their attitudes towards their lives and their children, their states of mind, and the quality of care they provide as well as their relationship to attachment patterns of their infants; some come from urban Middle, Middle-upper and Upper-class families and others from Poor in-digenous peasant families. The fundamental focus is on the woman’s participation inside the family, although it does not exclude the possibility that some of these mothers handle not only the care giving and housework but also work outside of the home (the "double shift”). It concludes that the daily material conditions of existence are closely related to shared character traits and that these are in turn related to patterns of attachment in their infants, their sensitivity in the treatment of their babies, and the results of their Adult Attachment Interviews. Women have been the sup-port and pillar of subsistence for urban populations as well as the most poor and disadvan-taged communities. This role played by women is as widespread as undocumented in litera-ture.

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Author:Sonia Gojman de Millán, Salvador Millán, et al.
Parent Title (English):Fromm Forum (English Edition – ISSN 1437-1189), 17 / 2013, Tuebingen (Selbstverlag), pp. 35-46.
Series (Serial Number):Fromm Forum (English edition / englische Ausgabe) (e17/2013e)
Document Type:Articles
Year of first Publication:2013
Release Date:2014/01/28
Format:PDF-file to download
Writings about Erich Fromm (Secondary Literature):Articles / Artikel
Erich Fromm's Library and Erich Fromm Archive:Articles / Artikel
International Erich Fromm Society's Writings:Articles / Artikel
Licence (German):