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Reciprocity or exploitation? : mothers and daughters in the changing economy of rural Malaysia

Author: Susan McLellan
Publisher: East Lansing : Office of WID, Michigan State University, ©1985.
Series: Working paper (Michigan State University. Office of Women in International Development), #93.
Edition/Format:   Print book : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
This paper examines the anthropological concepts of reciprocity and altruism in close kinship relations, particularly the mother-daughter relationship. It is argued that Malay mothers manipulate cultural values to ensure that their daughters, who are engaged in factory work, comply with obligations to support their households and discharge the debts owed to mothers for their "milk." Where this strategy fails, magic  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
McLellan, Susan.
Reciprocity or exploitation?
East Lansing : Office of WID, Michigan State University, ©1985
(OCoLC)652261111
Material Type: Government publication, State or province government publication
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Susan McLellan
OCLC Number: 12968177
Description: 19 pages ; 28 cm.
Series Title: Working paper (Michigan State University. Office of Women in International Development), #93.
Responsibility: by Susan McLellan.

Abstract:

This paper examines the anthropological concepts of reciprocity and altruism in close kinship relations, particularly the mother-daughter relationship. It is argued that Malay mothers manipulate cultural values to ensure that their daughters, who are engaged in factory work, comply with obligations to support their households and discharge the debts owed to mothers for their "milk." Where this strategy fails, magic may be used in attempts to ensure the "protection" of daughters as well as the flow of goods and money from them. This is contrary to Sahlin's model of exchange, which argues that the expectation of a direct return for the suckling of children is unseemly (1974:165). For peasant Malays undergoing difficult transitions in the development process, material returns "for the milk" are expected.

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