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Recent studies examine how individuals create kinship through economic transactions, ritual, and religion. This paper explores how Q’eqchi’ women in San Juan Chamelco, Guatemala generate the logics of kinship through marketing. In Chamelco, the Q’eqchi’ construct kinship through the local category of the junkab’al, ‘family’, literally ‘one home’. Members of Q’eqchi’ junkab’als create the substance of kinship through shared residence and participation in daily life. Chamelco’s women use marketing to establish kinship, incorporating market employees into their junkab’als. Since market positions have been passed down in junkab’als for generations and constitute the family estate, market women seek heirs to perpetuate them. Participation in market exchange allows Q’eqchi’ women to generate their houses and reinforce the junkab’al as a local category. This research examines kinship as a fluid construct, characterized by its interaction with other domains, including marketing.


Published in The Latin Americanist 57, no. 2 (2013): 85-110.

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The Latin Americanist




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