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I suggested that to defuse the tension he should go out, but asked him where the key was. I asked if he would be prepared to look for it. We agreed that he would look for the key and once he found it, he would ring me back and I would then return the call. I asked where he was and she said he was sitting in the living room. Did she have any friends where she could stay? Clara just carried on crying.

Given her obvious state of distress, I decided to honour this request. I then mentioned the name of a Cape Verdean mother who I knew would probably put her up for a few nights and said that if she wanted to, I could call her, but she did not reply to this and just carried on crying. I asked her if she was OK and she replied that her eye was hurting.

I did not know what else to do. The whole situation was compelling me to act under pressure and I felt very unsure about becoming involved in a conjugal case the outcome of which I would always be implicated in. The focus of my research had made me particularly sensitive to the situation of pregnant women in their potential emotional and physical fragilities. A few more moments of silence passed by whilst I listened to her crying.


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Clara stayed on the phone. I repeated the question. So you want me to call the police? Finally, I spoke to a policeman who took note of the address, and said someone would be there as soon as possible, as long as the victim was willing to open the door. Once again I asked Clara if she was sure that this was what she wanted and explained to her that she would have to be prepared to open the door herself to the police. Clara confirmed that she would do this.

She carried on crying while I talked. He knew all along where it was. I expected him to ring me, but he did not. I was also concerned that I had become involved in a situation that could have family and legal implications for both of them. All of this had been totally unexpected and as it changed the dynamics of the relationships between us, it also led me to reflect in more depth upon my own research.

The episode had exposed a space of gendered tensions the significance of which began to acquire new meanings for me.

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O crioulo cabo-verdiano como epistemologia de contato

Was this another episode of Cape Verdean masculinity? The sequence of events in which I had inevitably become implicated, obliged me to reconsider their significance and to review my possibly over protectionist attitude towards Cape Verdean pregnant women by taking a more dynamic view of the complex nature of gender relations. Would he have tried to call me? Was he waiting for me to call him, now that he had given her the key?

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Would he have gone, leaving Clara alone in the flat? Whilst these circumstantial questions cannot be answered, they led me to address a much larger question: how is this episode to be understood in the light of the nature of Cape Verdean gender relations? I never managed to meet any of these men. Four out of the six fathers I did interview appeared to be in relatively stable, equal relationships with their partners, sharing domestic responsibilities and child care.

Vale de Almeida cit. About half an hour later, the phone rang. I mean, I ring you to ask for help and you, instead of helping, you made things worse. I trusted you because you were accompanying her in her medical appointments; I thought you could talk with her. I said that she was vulnerable and she asked me to call the police. I was only doing what she asked me to do.

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I said she specifically asked me not to talk to him. I thought she was scared and asked her if she wanted me to call the police. I did what she asked me to do. Did you put any ice on it? I cooked all the meals. I paid the rent, she never had to pay later she assured me she had always paid the whole rent for herself, with money sent from relatives in Cape Verde. My friends tell me I have to be patient, they say that pregnant women get like this, but it has been too much.

He said I had ruined everything because now that the police had been called there was no way she would stay with him. I then said that I understood how he felt and respected his anger. I reminded him what he had said at the beginning of the phone call when he rang asking for help: that he was scared that he might do something.

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Clara had also told me on the phone that he had hit her before. He claimed this was a lie. I said I understood that he felt that I had betrayed his confidence, I knew he had rang for help, but he had put me on the phone with Clara and she had also asked me for help. I was simply doing what I thought was best at that moment.

I just wanted to help them both. I suggested that he too should seek help asking, for example, at his local health centre, to see a psychologist with whom he could talk through all of this. I finally told him he could rest assured that I would not comment this case with anybody in the network of people we were both in contact with. Clara told me she replied to him that it had nothing to do with me, that she would have left him anyway.

The places of youth in urban Cape Verde

She claimed she was fine, but that he was not. He was the one who needed help — she said — and thus asked me to ring him. I added that I was available to talk if he so wanted, but there was no shame in seeing a psychologist; rather, it was a sign of maturity.

A Question for Cape Verdeans ? ? ?

I wanted to engage with the real person with whom I had unexpectedly become involved in a quandary. A cultural interpretive framework was hence being challenged and the way in which I understood this challenge was undoubtedly affected by my unexpected involvement in the events concerned. I needed to search for a more sophisticated analysis, one which would bring me closer to the lived experiences of Cape Verdean youth. Interpersonal violence is often associated with perceived threats to gender identifications Moore cit.

Ebook Cape Verdean Immigrants In America The Socialization Of Young Men In An Urban Environment

He had also asked Clara if he could be present at the birth; Clara did not know what she wanted. She was clearly experiencing a dilemma, caught in the middle of paradigm changes and pulled in opposite directions by their differentiated gender values, for which she did not have much social support, as the subsequent episodes illustrate. For the first week, she was lodged in a motel, paid for by social security and then a friend took her in, temporarily. She began to tell me about the various conversations she had had with different Cape Verdean friends. Furthermore, she was now worried about what decision to make with regard to the complaint that she had made to the police.

Moreover, her friend argued that when the baby was born, it would surely not want to know that its mother had put its father in jail or that its mother had caused the father to be sent back to Cape Verde. The argument regarding the need for financial and emotional support, within a specific context of maternity was also emphasized by him and brought up by Clara in our conversation.

But she did not stay with him for very long and moved out before the baby was born. She also took the decision not to withdraw the complaint.


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