Upturning the Rules of the Game: How Young Women Care-Leavers Negotiate Independence through Kinship in Brazil


  • Fernanda Rifiotis



Parole chiave:

Care-Leavers, Kinship, De-institutionalisation, Agents, Affective Bonds


In this paper, I propose to reflect on the “independence” condition of five young “care-leavers” by analysing the ways in which they experience their affective ties of kinship. The analysis is based on an ethnography carried out between 2010 and 2013, in the south of Brazil, on the de institutionalisation of young women who, under protective measures, lived part of their childhood and adolescence without a recognised family life. In addition to the possible impact of the institutionalisation experience on kinship relationships, such as the breaking of ties or rapprochement with family members, I intend to explore the ways in which these young women are “powerful agents in the negotiation of parentage.” By approaching kinship as a “negotiated transaction”, I intend to focus my analysis on the affective bonds that are relevant in the daily practices of these young women. Such “negotiated transactions” will be explored by discussing a process I have called “a turning point in the game of kinship relations”, inspired by a native expression.






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