The Children of Sánchez
A pioneering work from a visionary anthropologist, The Children of Sánchez is hailed around the world as a watershed achievement in the study of poverty a uniquely intimate investigation, as poignant today as when it was first published.
It is the epic story of the Sánchez family, told entirely by its members Jesús, the 50-year-old patriarch, and his four adult children as
I first ran across this book in highschool back in the 1970s, and then a film was made based on the characters, with a soundtrack by Chuck Mangione which was very popular. (I later saw the film, ...more
The reader gets an intimate look of what daily life is like in tenement housing in Mexico City. The culture and societal rules that govern this poor class is eye-opening and educational, for example: the routine physical violence, the propensity of alcoholism and drug abuse, the lack of meaningful relationships and love, the scarcity of rol ...more
The basic things most of us take for granted (privacy in your house, in the bedroom, in the toilet even!) are exactly the things poor families like the Sanchez lack, and this leads to all s ...more
How a family survives on seemingly scraps is amazing to read. Also interesting is: how event accounts vary between family members; live in industrial, post-revolution Mexico; how a city deals with large population growth; the effect ...more
In a way, this book reminds me of some of those pseudo-sociological books like the Velvet Underground (exploring sex in the suburbs), but although the book does, at times, provide a pulpy, lurid look into the deprivations of the underclass, it's the overlapping accounts of the 5 people interviewed that makes this book so fascinating. We see each person's account of an event through four other perspectives, whi ...more
Is there a difference between being poor and living a culture of poverty? Oscar Lewis thinks there is! Told in their own voices the 4 adult children of Jesus Sanchez speak their own life stories from a Mexico City Slum in the late 50's.
I grew up listening to the soundtrack of the movie made from this anthropological study. It's fascinating to me to, now, rea ...more
Anyways, I do appreciate Lewis' effort to gather this huge amount of data and organize them in a story-formed documentary.