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NCJ Number: 65661 Find in a Library
Title: MARITAL INSTABILITY AND JUVENILE DELINQUENCY AMONG THE NEZ PERCES
Journal: AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST  Volume:73  Dated:(JUNE 1971)  Pages:595-603
Author(s): L A ACKERMAN
Corporate Author: American Anthropological Assoc
United States of America
Date Published: 1971
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: American Anthropological Assoc
Washington, DC 20009
National Science Foundation
Arlington, VA 22230
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS STUDY, CONCERNED WITH THE CAUSES OF JUVENILE DELINQUENCY AMONG THE NEZ PERCE INDIANS, EXAMINES FACTORS SUCH AS MARITAL INSTABILITY, LOSS OF COMMUNAL DISCIPLINE AND PATRILOCALITY, AND OBSOLETE SEX ROLES.
Abstract: THE ARTICLE DEMONSTRATES STRESSES IN THE NEZ PERCE CULTURE ARISING FROM CONTACT WITH WHITE SOCIETY THAT HAVE RESULTED IN A SERIES OF RESPONSES INCONGRUENT WITH ABORIGINAL NEZ PERCE CULTURE. BECAUSE THESE RESPONSES HAVE BEEN INAPPROPRIATE, SOCIALIZATION HAS BECOME INEFFECTIVE, RESULTING IN JUVENILE DELINQUENCY. COMMUNAL DISCIPLINE PATTERNS HAVE BEEN LOST AND THE NUCLEAR FAMILY CAN ONLY GUIDE BUT NOT ENFORCE GOOD BEHAVIOR. COERCION IS ALIEN TO NEZ PERCE FAMILIAL TRADITIONS. NEW AGENTS OF DISCIPLINE, SUCH AS THE SCHOOL, CHURCH, AND TRIBAL COUNCIL HAVE AS YET LITTLE IMPACT UPON THE INDIVIDUALS. FORMERLY, CHILDREN'S GRANDPARENTS WERE TEACHING AND ADMONISHMENT. CULTURAL VALUES, MEDICAL AND HYGIENIC LORE, AND PRACTICAL ARTS WERE IMPARTED BY MEMBERS OF THE EXTENDED FAMILY. PHYSICAL PUNISHMENT WAS ADMINISTERED BY THE OFFICIAL WHIPMAN, OUTSIDE THE FAMILY SPHERE. BECAUSE PATRILOCALITY HAS BEEN REPLACED BY NEOLOCALITY, DISRUPTION OF THE CHILD'S ENVIRONMENT NOW RESULTS WHEN SEPARATION OR DIVORCE OCCURS. ABANDONED CHARACTER -BUILDING MEASURES HAVE CAUSED LOSS OF SELF-ESTEEM, OFTEN RESULTING IN ALCOHOLISM AND AUTOMOBILE ABUSES. PARENTAL NEGLECT IS RAMPANT, WITH PHYSICAL REPERCUSSIONS UPON THE CHILDREN. CHILDREN NO LONGER HAVE RECOURSE TO SUPPORT FROM AUNTS AND UNCLES AND MUST ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEMSELVES AND THEIR SIBLINGS AT AN EARLY AGE. STABLE MARRIAGES COULD BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE DISSOLUTION OF COMMUNAL ORDER, BUT THERE IS LITTLE TRADIITION AMONG THE NEZ PERCE FOR MARITAL FIDELITY. SEMI-SANCTIONED MARITAL INFIDELITY OR PERIODIC CHANGES OF PARTNERS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN PRACTICED. ABORIGINAL MALE AND FEMALE ROLES WERE BASED ON A HIGH DEGREE OF ECONOMIC INDEPENDENCE, SINCE WOMEN'S ROOT GATHERING PRODUCED MORE THAN ONE HALF OF THE FOOD CONSUMED BY THE TRIBE. TRADITIONAL MALE ROLES OF HUNTING, FISHING, AND WARFARE HAVE NOW BEEN ERASED, AND UNEMPLOYMENT COMPOUNDS THE LOSS OF SELF-ESTEEM. WOMEN CONTINUE THEIR TRADITIONAL ROLE OF PROVIDING FOR THE FAMILY WHILE THE MEN SPEND WHAT MONEY THEY CAN OBTAIN ON DRINKING, GAMBLING, AND PERSONAL PLEASURES. THERE MUST BE A RETURN TO SOME FORM OF COMMUNAL CONTROL TO CURB JUVENILE DELINQUENCY, AND A WAY MUST BE FOUND FOR THE TRADITIONAL NEZ PERCE MALE ROLE TO BE TRANSFORMED INTO THAT OF THE MODERN WAGE EARNER. NOTES AND REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED. (MRK)
Index Term(s): American Indians; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile dependency and neglect; Neglectful parents; Socioculture; Tribal history; Unemployment
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65661

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