The Sense of Family: A Narrative of Three Generations


  • Leonor Mora Salas Universidad Central de Venezuela



family, family life, family and social class, narrative, meaning


The purpose of the present study was to explore how families construct the significance of the word "family." This article develops a theory derived from an analysis of four previous qualitative studies that included individual interviews with members of 14 families in Caracas, Venezuela, from different socioeconomic strata. In each case interviews were conducted with members from three different generations. The narratives included references to other family members. The results showed the importance of family in the participants' discourse and that its meaning is related to the origin and structure of this institution: middle class families believe that family structure plays a core function in the children's education and in social stability. For lower class families, tradition and experiences within generations are important. However members of second and third generations attempt to distance themselves from many of the first generation’s traditions and experiences as their lifestyles are so different. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs080237


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Author Biography

Leonor Mora Salas, Universidad Central de Venezuela

Leonor MORA SALAS es Psicóloga Social y Psicóloga del Desarrollo, Docente-Investigadora del Instituto de Psicología, Universidad Central de Venezuela. Profesora de postgrado en las áreas de Metodología de la Investigación y Evaluación de Proyectos Sociales. Líneas de trabajo: familia; lenguaje e interpretación (lectura, escritura, narrativa y métodos cualitativos de investigación).



How to Cite

Mora Salas, L. (2008). The Sense of Family: A Narrative of Three Generations. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 9(2).



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