No way out: The formation and maintenance of poverty as seen in la Marin, Quito, Ecuador
Rustan, Amy Marie
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The fieldwork for this thesis was conducted in a marginal neighborhood of Quito, Ecuador called la Marin. There, I worked with laboring and extremely poor children, mostly between the ages of three and eighteen. I learned of the life situation of these children. I volunteered for almost three months at a non-governmental organization called Proyecto Salesiano located in la Marin. There I helped children with homework, served as a mentor, and a friend. I also taught English in a neighborhood school, and I conducted field visits in several other surrounding schools, some traditional and others vocational. With the Proyecto, I also attended and led several field trips for the children. Through my field work I learned about the environment, families, and schools of the children. My library research led me to further reflect on my time in Quito. I contemplated why these members of la Marin are so poor while members of the neighborhood that I lived in and the school that I attended were extremely affluent. I applied Bourdieu's theory of the creation of habitus (norms and dispositions) to explain the structures in Laitn American history that have created a situation of inequality. Then, I complimented Bourdieu's theory with theories of socialization to explain how habitus is passed from one generation to the next, thereby maintaining and perpetuating poverty for some and wealth for others. All of this was analyzed with vivid examples from my fieldwork in Ia Marin.