Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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p. v

Illustrations

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p. vi

Selective Chronology

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pp. vii-ix

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiv

My brother Tom once characterized the academic life this way: “Read, read, read. Talk, talk, talk. Write, write, write.” He is not an academic but he got it right. This book developed through conversations with my colleagues and engagement with their written work, and it is a great pleasure to thank those who have ...

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Introduction: Childhood, Class, and Family in Mexico City

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pp. xv-xliii

In the spring of 1906 officials at the federal agency overseeing Mexico City’s public welfare system wrote to government lawyers requesting a precise legal definition of a foundling (expósito).1 Since the late 1870s the federal government had administered the city’s public orphanages, including the foundling home ...

Part One: The Porfirian Family: Child Welfare, Child Labor, and Child Nurture, 1884–1912

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1. Porfirian Patterns and Meanings of Child Circulation: Child Labor and Child Welfare in the Capital City

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pp. 3-40

Two contradictory constructions of childhood emerged from nineteenth-century patterns of reform and stasis at Mexico City’s two principal orphanages. The first, less charitable, version held that the children of the urban poor who entered public welfare institutions had to earn their own keep. This depiction was reinforced ...

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2. Labor or Love: Trends in Porfirian Adoption Practice

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pp. 41-70

In 1905, shortly after the old poor house in the city’s center was closed, demolished, and replaced by the new Hospicio de Niños on the calzada San Antonio Abad, Martiniano Alfaro, the Hospicio’s secretary and historian, expressed his satisfaction at the establishment’s success in placing welfare wards in adoptions. ...

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3. Moral and Medical Economies of Motherhood: Infant Feeding at the Mexico City Foundling Home

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pp. 71-102

The year 1898 saw the close of an era: welfare officials brought the network of village wet nurses who worked for the Casa de Niños Expósitos inside the institution.1 Since the eighteenth century, orphanage administrators had placed foundlings with rural wet nurses. The foundlings’ sojourns with village families, ...

Part Two: Reworking the Family: Family Relations and Revolutionary Reform, 1913–1943

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4. The Family in the Revolutionary Order: Conceptual Foundations

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pp. 105-128

In December 1914, as Mexico’s revolution entered a new cycle of violence, Constitutionalist First Chief Venustiano Carranza issued the first of a series of decrees legalizing definitive divorce. Other factions had been outlining their political and social agendas through proclamations for some time, but Carranza ...

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5. The Revolutionary Family: Children’s Health and Collective Identities

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pp. 129-182

In 1928, after a tumultuous administration, outgoing president Plutarco Elías Calles made a gesture of reconciliation: he proclaimed the end of revolutionary factionalism and announced the birth of the revolutionary family. This family would be inclusive, but its strong central authority would quell the violence ...

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6. Domestic Economies: Family Dynamics, Child Labor, and Child Circulation

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pp. 183-220

In April 1930 thirteen-year-old Carlota Morales grew tired of cleaning, cooking, and minding her two small brothers while her mother, Carmen Romero, ran a clothing stall in Mexico City’s La Lagunilla market. So she joined a group of girls, all neighbors in the same tenement, and ran away from home. ...

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7. Breaking and Making Families: Adoption, Child Labor, and Women’s Work

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pp. 221-250

In his preamble to the 1917 Ley de Relaciones Familiares, Venustiano Carranza proclaimed that adoption was an innovation in Mexican society. Providing the adoptive relationship with the same rights and obligations as those between parent and child by birth was indeed a novelty, although one with colonial ...

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Conclusion: Family, Work, and Welfare in Modern Mexico

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pp. 251-258

When Mexico passed its first social security law in 1943, the legislation fulfilled a commitment to Mexico’s workers that had been spelled out in the Constitution of 1917. That commitment emerged from the revolutionary struggle that overthrew the Díaz regime, but the ongoing conflicts in national politics ...

Notes

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pp. 259-298

Bibliography

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pp. 299-332

Index

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pp. 333-351