© 2008

Coming of Age in Times of Crisis

Youth, Schooling, and Patriarchy in a Venezuelan Town

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxii
  2. Janise Hurtig
    Pages 65-87
  3. Janise Hurtig
    Pages 89-113
  4. Janise Hurtig
    Pages 115-131
  5. Janise Hurtig
    Pages 133-150
  6. Janise Hurtig
    Pages 151-167
  7. Janise Hurtig
    Pages 169-188
  8. Janise Hurtig
    Pages 189-207
  9. Janise Hurtig
    Pages 209-216
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 217-240

About this book


Coming of Age in Times of Crisis is an anthropological study of the intersecting roles of gender and schooling in the lives of rural Venezuelan youth as they make the transition to adulthood during times of national political and economic crisis. Strongly grounded in local detail while speaking to larger comparative issues and the crises that surround globalization, the study enables us to see how gender roles and social class are reproduced in a culture experiencing profound upheaval, and to see how rural Venezuelans have managed to reproduce and change their culture in these circumstances. This book is based on two-and-a-half years of ethnographic field research Hurtig conducted in the Andean region of Venezuela between 1991 and 1993, and again briefly in 1996.

About the authors

JANISE HURTIG is a Senior Researcher at the PRAIRIE Group, College of Education, University of Illinois, Chicago, where she co-directs the Community Writing and Research Project. She has conducted ethnographic and participatory action research in Venezuela, Oregon, and Chicago and is a co-editor of Gender's Place: Feminist Anthropologies of Latin America (Palgrave 2002), with Rosario Montoya and Lessie Jo Frazier.

Bibliographic information


'Through Hurtig's deft and passionate ethnography, the young men and women of Santa Lucia, Venezuela will quickly gain a prominent, if disquieting, place in the anthropological understanding of schooling and youth identity. Hurtig plumbs the particular, small contradictions of youth's educational lives to illuminate the big contradictions of global political economy, gender, and schooling. A stunning piece of longitudinal educational research - evocative, heartbreaking, but ultimately optimistic.' - Bradley A.U. Levinson, Associate Professor of Education and Anthropology, Indiana University, USA; Lead Editor of Inter-American Journal of Education for Democracy

'In this vivid account of secondary school students' experiences of crisis in the Venezuelan Andes, Hurtig demonstrates close connections among state-society relations at local, national, and international levels. Hurtig's skillful analysis of the gendered dimensions of family life and secondary schooling sheds new light on questions about educational processes and social change. A must read for comparative educators, anthropologists of education, and everyone interested in schooling around the world.' - Amy Stambach, author of Lessons from Mount Kilimanjaro: Schooling, Community, and Gender in East Africa

'Hurtig cogently argues for 'patriarchy' as a useful analytic concept, and specifically 'negligent patriarchy,' as a cultural dynamic entailing both the production of desires and the normalized expectation of disappointment. This conceptual work enables her to diagnose gendered contradictions grounded in inequality and exploitation imbricated across house, street, nation, and imperialist realms. This is feminist ethnography at its most powerful.' - Lessie Jo Frazier, Assistant Professor, Gender Studies, Indiana University, USA