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Annotated bibliography
Candidate Number: 33252027
MPhil Visual Anthropology
Anthropology Department
Goldsmiths, University of London
Adler Hellman, J., The World of Mexican Migrants: The Rock and the Hard Place, New
York: New Press, 2008.
Often overlooked in the heated political debate over the conundrums of immigration reform are
the personal lives of the immigrants themselves. Hellman has written about Mexicans for more
than 40 years. Here she offers a lucid overview of Mexican immigration to the U.S., beginning
with profiles of the “sending communities” - small Mexican villages that have lost more than half
their population to migration - and the sense of abandonment of those left behind, and the
concomitant decline in the local economy. Increasingly dangerous and expensive border crossings
have forced seasonal workers to either remain in the U.S. or return home permanently. This
choice is complicated by such factors as children born in the U.S. who wish to stay, and the harsh
realities of life in Manhattan or Los Angeles, including low wages and crowded housing
neglected by slum landlords. Surprising, perhaps, to many readers will be the goal of most of
Hellman’s interviewees - simply to raise enough money to build a modest home back in their
native village. Hellman provides an insightful window into the human side of a complex and alltoo-divisive problem
Anyul, M. and Punzo, L., Mexico Beyond NAFTA, New York: Routledge, 2001.
With European Monetary Union well underway, Europe is starting to look at nearby countries and
culturally closer continents to define its strategies for the future. In this book, chapters by leading
Mexican economists are matched with reactions from European colleagues. They offer a novel
viewpoint on the critical assessment of the North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA) process,
and its implications for the economies of the two continents.
Appadurai, A., “Disjuncture and difference”, Culture, and Society, 7: 295-310, 1990.
For Appadurai, the global situation is interactive rather than singly dominated. The United States
no longer dominates the world system of images, but is only one node of a complex transnational
construction of “imaginary landscapes”. In his widely cited paper “Disjuncture and difference in
the global cultural economy”, Appadurai argues that in this new conjuncture the invention of
tradition and other identity-markers becomes slippery, as the “search for certainties is regularly
frustrated by the fluidities of transitional communication”. He also stresses that there are various
fears besides that of Americanization: “it is worth noticing that for the people of Irian Jaya,
Indonesianization may be more worrisome than Americanization, as Japanization may be for
Koreans, Indianization for Sri Lankans, Vietnamization for Cambodians, Russianization for the
people of Soviet Armenia and the Baltic republics,” and we must acknowledge that “one man’s
imagined community is another man’s political prison”. Appadurai differentiates five dimensions
of global “scapes”, flowing across cultural boundaries: 1) ethnoscapes, the landscape of persons
who constitute the shifting world in which people live, 2) technoscapes, the global configuration
of technologies moving at high speeds across previously impermeable borders, 3) financescapes,
the global grid of currency speculation and capital transfer, 4) mediascapes, the distribution of the
capabilities to produce and disseminate information and the large complex repertoire of images
and narratives generated by these capabilities, and 5) ideoscapes, ideologies of states and counterideologies of movements, around which nation-states have organized their political cultures.
Appadurai stresses that globalizing and localizing processes, or “global homogenization” and
“heterogenization” feed and reinforce each other rather than being mutually exclusive, and he
calls for more anthropological studies on the “production of locality”.
Bacon, D., The Children of NAFTA, Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2005.
Food, televisions, computer equipment, plumbing supplies, clothing; much of the material
foundation of our everyday lives is produced along the U.S./Mexico border in a world largely
hidden from our view. Based on gripping first-hand accounts, this book investigates the impact of
the North American Free Trade Agreement on those who labour in the agricultural fields and
maquiladora factories on the border. Journalist David Bacon paints a powerful portrait of poverty,
repression, and struggle, offering a devastating critique of NAFTA in the most pointed and indepth examination of border workers published to date. Unlike journalists who have made brief
excursions into strawberry fields and maquiladoras, Bacon has more than a decade’s experience
reporting on the ground at the border, and he has developed sustained relationships with scores of
workers and organizers who have entrusted him with their stories. He describes harsh conditions
of child labour in the Mexicali Valley, the deplorable housing outside factories in cities such as
Tijuana, and corporate retaliation faced by union organizers. He finds that, despite the promises
of its backers, NAFTA has locked in a harsh neoliberal economic policy that has swept away laws
and protections that Mexican workers had established over decades. More than a showcase for
NAFTA’s victims, this book traces the emergence of a new social consciousness, telling how
workers in Mexico, the United States, and Canada are now beginning to join together in a
powerful new strategy of cross-border organizing as they search for economic and social justice.
Baños Ramírez, O., Neoliberalismo, reorganizacion y subsistencia rural: El caso de la zona
henequenera de Yucatán, 1980-1992, Mérida: Universidad Autonoma de Yucatán, 1996.
Study of the transformation of henequen agribusiness, it focuses on the individualization of the
ejidos and on the survival strategies of rural workers; it also analyses the degree of relationship
between these issues and the consequences of neoliberalism. The work is based on a thorough
analysis of Yucatecan households.
Baklanoff, E. N. & Moseley, E. H. (eds.) Yucatán in an era of globalization, Tuscaloosa:
University of Alabama Press, 2008.
This work describes the profound changes to Yucatán’s society and economy following the 1982
debt crisis that prostrated Mexico’s economy. The editors have assembled contributions from
seasoned “Yucatecologists” - historians, geographers, cultural students, and an economist - to
chart the accelerated change in Yucatán from a monocrop economy to a full beneficiary and
victim of rampant globalization.
Baudrillard, J., Simulacra and Simulations, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1981.
In Simulacra and Simulation Jean Baudrillard seeks to interrogate the relationship among reality,
symbols, and society. Simulacra are copies that depict things that either had no reality to begin
with, or that no longer have an original. Simulation is the imitation of the operation of a realworld process or system over time. Baudrillard claims that our current society has replaced all
reality and meaning with symbols and signs, and that human experience is of a simulation of
reality. Baudrillard theorizes that the lack of distinctions between reality and simulacra originates
in several phenomena: contemporary media including television, film, print, and the Internet,
which are responsible for blurring the line between products that are needed (in order to live a
life) and products for which a need is created by commercial images. Exchange value, in which
the value of goods is based on money (literally denominated fiat currency) rather than usefulness,
and moreover usefulness comes to be quantified and defined in monetary terms in order to assist
exchange. Multinational capitalism, which separates produced goods from the plants, minerals
and other original materials and the processes (including the people and their cultural context)
used to create them. Urbanization, which separates humans from the nonhuman world, and recentres culture around productive throughput systems so large they cause alienation. Language
and ideology, in which language increasingly becomes caught up in the production of power
relations between social groups, especially when powerful groups institute themselves at least
partly in monetary terms.
Berger, D., The Development of Mexico’s Tourism Industry: Pyramids by Day, Martinis by
Night, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.
Today, tourism is one of Mexico’s most successful revolutionary projects that played a decisive
role in the making of that modern nation. From the industry’s birth in 1928 to its boom in 1946,
government officials and private entrepreneurs coalesced around tourism to study, develop, and
promote it as a development strategy that fulfilled revolutionary goals. Through savvy
promotional campaigns that professed goodwill and showcased the modern (martinis) and the
traditional (pyramids), tourist boosters refashioned their nation’s image from an unruly to a good
neighbour successfully attracting U.S. tourists. This pioneering study demystifies the emergence
of modern tourism and demonstrates how tourist boosters capitalized on broader shifts in U.S.Mexican relations.
Boal, A., Teatro do Oprimido e Outras Poéticas Políticas, Rio de Janeiro: Civilização
Brasileira, 1978.
The innovative Brazilian playwright, director and international lecturer explicates Aristotle’s
poetics and the philosophies of Machiavelli, Hegel and Brecht to determine the extent to which
their chief components-imitation, catharsis and, ultimately, audience control-serve up to support
the status quo of a society rather than facilitate change. He sees the Brazilian government as an
example of an oppressive state using theatre to propagate its oppressive system. He then outlines
his early theories and practices for attempting to reverse the paradigm. It also talks about
Newspaper Theatre, attempting to talk about local problems and present it to the audiences,
Forum Theatre, currently used in over 70 countries, Invisible Theatre, used to discuss political
activity and Image Theatre. Boal also talks about Invisible theatre in which an event is planned
and scripted but does not allow the spectators to know that the event is happening. Actors perform
out of the ordinary roles which invite spectators to join in or sit back and watch. One example
was in a restaurant at the Chiclayo hotel, actors sat at separate tables and informed the waiters in
loud voices that they could not eat the food. The actor stated that the food was not good. The
waiter says the diner could pick something else to eat. So the actor chose a rather expensive item
off the menu and says he will be able to pay for it. The actor mentions he has no money and he
would be willing to work for it. This display made other diners start discussing the price and
treatment of workers at this hotel. This act allowed spectators to think about issues that were
going on but were brushed over because the issue did not directly involve them. Analytical
theatre is when a participant tells a story and the actors improvise it. Each character is broken
down into all the social roles they could follow and the participants choose an object to symbolize
the role. This aspect of theatre allows the participants to see how there are multiple roles a person
could follow.
Beltrán, G. A., Regiones de Refugio, México D.F.: Instituto Indigenista Interamericano,
This address provides a conceptual heuristic of “regions of refuge” as a means of understanding
the complex and dynamic processes responsible for the great growth and emergence of Mexicanorigin populations in the United States. Such processes are transnational, national, and regional,
but at their centre are economic issues of production and labour that have their genesis in the 19th
century and will be even more important in the next century. By 2100, the Mexican-origin
population will make up slightly less than a third of the entire U.S. population and will face issues
of increasing economic inequality, steep social stratification, and modest educational attainment.
The multiple methodological approaches of applied anthropology are crucial to the solution of
what I have termed the “distribution of sadness” that accompanies such growth and issues.
Bonfil Batalla, G. (1987-1989), México Profundo, México D.F.: Random House Mondadori,
This major work in Mexican anthropology argues that Mesoamerican civilization is an ongoing
and undeniable force in contemporary Mexican life. For Guillermo Bonfil Batalla, the remaining
Indian communities, the “de-Indianized” rural mestizo communities, and vast sectors of the poor
urban population constitute the México profundo. Their lives and ways of understanding the
world continue to be rooted in Mesoamerican civilization. An ancient agricultural complex
provides their food supply, and work is understood as a way of maintaining a harmonious
relationship with the natural world. Health is related to human conduct, and community service is
often part of each individual’s life obligation. Time is circular, and humans fulfill their own cycle
in relation to other cycles of the universe. Since the Conquest, Bonfil argues, the peoples of the
México profundo have been dominated by an “imaginary México” imposed by the West. It is
imaginary not because it does not exist, but because it denies the cultural reality lived daily by
most Mexicans. Within the México profundo there exists an enormous body of accumulated
knowledge, as well as successful patterns for living together and adapting to the natural world. To
face the future successfully, argues Bonfil, Mexico must build on these strengths of
Mesoamerican civilization, “one of the few original civilizations that humanity has created
throughout all its history.”
Brenner L., and Aguilar, A. G., “Luxury, Tourism and Regional Economic Development in
México”, in The Professional Geographer 56, 2002: 500.
This article argues that little attention has been paid to the territorial and socioeconomic impact of
consumer-service globalization on Third World countries. It specifically examines the economic
role of tourism in Mexico and its limited effect on the country’s regional development. Despite
governmental support in order to enhance economic growth, currency receipts, and employment,
tourism contributes less than 5 percent to the gross domestic product, and the majority of tourismrelated jobs are precarious and low skilled. The promotion of luxury resorts in coastal areas has
led to highly concentrated and fast–growing enclaves of mainly foreign investment. However,
this strategy has failed to stimulate productive links between tourist centres and their hinterlands
and has led to large-scale urbanization characterized by a considerable lack of basic services for
the resident population.
Brenner, L., “State Planned Tourism Destinations: The Case of Huatulco, Mexico”, in
Tourism Geographies 7, 2005: 144.
Despite the intense debate on sustainable tourism, little attention has been paid to attempts by
national authorities to mitigate the social impacts of mass tourism destinations in Third World
countries. As the example of the state-planned resort of Huatulco on Mexico’s southern Pacific
coast shows, negative experiences during the 1970s have, indeed, led to modifications in planning
strategies and tools. On the basis of structured and semi-structured interviews with tourism
business owners and managers, government officials and other key informants, this paper
analyses the measures that have been taken by the Mexican government and evaluates their
results. It concludes that the problems typical of previous development projects, especially social
segregation, burgeoning shantytowns and the formation of economic enclaves, could not be
solved. Therefore, not even small-scale and technically well-planned luxury resorts can be
considered as a means of initiating socially sustainable regional development, which suggests the
need for a more radical re-orientation of tourism policy.
Butler, J., Bodies that Matter. On the Discursive Limits of Sex, New York and London:
Routledge, 1993.
In Bodies That Matter, Judith Butler further develops her distinctive theory of gender by
examining the workings of power at the most “material” dimensions of sex and sexuality.
Deepening the inquiries she began in Gender Trouble, Butler offers an original reformulation of
the materiality of bodies, examining how the power of heterosexual hegemony forms the “matter”
of bodies, sex, and gender. Butler argues that power operates to constrain “sex” from the start,
delimiting what counts as a viable sex. She offers a clarification of the notion of “performativity”
introduced in Gender Trouble and explores the meaning of a citational politics. The text includes
readings of Plato, Irigaray, Lacan, and Freud on the formation of materiality and bodily
boundaries; “Paris is Burning,” Nella Larsen’s “Passing,” and short stories by Willa Cather; along
with a reconsideration of “performativity” and politics in feminist, queer, and radical democratic
Callon, M., (ed.) The Laws of the Markets, Oxford: Blackwell, 1998a.
An edited volume on the creation of markets, bringing together authors from a variety of
theoretical traditions. Most are concerned with the material construction of markets - and marketrelated subjectivities. With the collapse of the planned economies of Eastern Europe, the market
is extending its reach and at the same time claiming its universal applicability. But this is
occurring while paradoxically it is becoming more difficult to define “the market”. The authors,
all outstanding scholars in the booming field of socio-economics, explore how concrete markets
are built up and stabilized. They give answers to questions such as the following: How are
entities, material or non-material, human or non-human, transformed into commodities? How are
economic behaviours shaped by institutional arrangements? Is it possible to characterize the role
of the social sciences and in particular of economics in performing markets and in enforcing
rational behaviours?
Callon, M., What does it mean to say that economics is performative? Paper presented at the
International Center for Advanced Study, New York University, New York, May 2005.
In this paper Callon discusses the performativity of economics and proposes theoretical directions
to study it from a sociological perspective. Performativity suggests that, rather than theories being
true or false, they are accepted or not accepted, and there are many roles to be played in this
acceptance process by humans and non-humans alike. For example, the theory of Black-Scholes
could be accepted in academia, but to be performed by a broader network, certain technologies
were needed (frequent stock quotes), market participants needed to believe the theory, regulators
needed to be persuaded (that, for one, options are not just gambling); this process is reflexive and
the way the theory is performed feeds back into the construction of novel theories. A role exists
for economists as scientists across this entire performance. The above does not simply mean that
beliefs matter, or that economic theories are “performed” as self-fulfilling prophecies. Callon
again: “The notion of expression is a powerful vaccination against a reductionist interpretation of
performativity; a reminder that performativity is not about creating but about making happen.”
Not all potential self-fulfilling prophecies are equal: traders did in fact use Black-Scholes, but
they never began to use sunspots to coordinate. Sometimes theories outside academia are
performed in economics: witness financial chartism. It’s not about “truth” or “falsehood”:
Callon’s school of sociology/anthropology is fundamentally agnostic.
Castañeda, Q. E., In the Museum of Maya Culture: Touring Chichén Itzá, Minneapolis:
University of Minnesota Press, 1996.
In this innovative study, Castañeda argues that notions of “impact”, whether of tourism or of
anthropology, are inadequate to comprehend the ways in which Maya culture is known,
represented, and experienced in the everyday worlds of tourism, anthropology, and Maya society.
Instead of “impact”, Castañeda contends that the invention of the Maya as a culture derives from
the historical complicities between Maya peoples, anthropological practices, tourist businesses,
regional politics, nation building, New Age spiritualists, and international relations between
Mexico and the United States.
Castellanos, B. M., A Return to Servitude: Maya Migration and the Tourist Trade in Cancun,
Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010.
Weaving Avery Gordon’s notion of haunting with theories of transnationalism and modernity, M.
Bianet Castellanos argues that the cultural and material shifts that accompany Maya migration for
work in Cancún’s tourism industry enable negotiation, accommodation, and even resistance to
Mexico’s neoliberal reforms. A Return to Servitude dismantles romantic representations of
tourism and illustrates vividly how the Maya struggle to survive. As a free trade zone and Latin
America’s most popular destination, Cancún, Mexico, is more than just a tourist town. It is not
only actively involved in the production of transnational capital but also forms an integral part of
the state’s modernization plan for rural, indigenous communities. Indeed, Maya migrants make up
over a third of the city’s population. A Return to Servitude is an ethnography of Maya migration
within Mexico that analyses the foundational role indigenous peoples play in the development of
the modern nation-state. Focusing on tourism in the Yucatán Peninsula, M. Bianet Castellanos
examines how Cancún came to be equated with modernity, how this city has shaped the political
economy of the peninsula, and how indigenous communities engage with this vision of
contemporary life. More broadly, she demonstrates how indigenous communities experience,
resist, and accommodate themselves to transnational capitalism. Tourism and the social
stratification that results from migration have created conflict among the Maya. At the same time,
this work asserts, it is through engagement with modernity and its resources that they are able to
maintain their sense of indigeneity and community.
Chant, S., Women and Survival in Mexican Cities, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1991.
This book explores the question of key determinants of female labour force participation in the
context of a comparative study of three intermediate Mexican cities with very different kinds of
economy. The book also addresses the question of whether household structures themselves have
different configurations under different economic conditions, how far this relates to the
representation of low-income women in the local economy and in turn how variations in female
labour force involvement and household structure shape men’s, women’s and children’s
experiences of urban poverty. On the basis of interviews with low-income households and local
employers, the study attempts to provide an analysis of the articulations between women,
employment and household survival strategies in contemporary urban Mexico. The book provides
historical, economic and demographic details of the study cities with reference to Mexican
development as a whole in the post-war period and considers the labour demand in the three cities
by looking at policies and practices of gender recruitment in key sectors of the respective local
economies. It examines a range of factors at household level that influence female labour supply,
and provides an analysis of changes in household structure and women’s employment in
Queretaro between 1982-3 and 1986 based on direct longitudinal research. The text also considers
the implications of women’s work and household structure for the survival and welfare of the
poor and ends with a summary of the research findings and a brief comment on the future for
low-income Mexican women, concluding with suggestions as to “ways forward” for the analysis
of gender, households and economic development.
Chant, S., Gender and Migration in Developing Countries, London, UK: Belhaven Press,
Working from a broad range of case studies, this guide presents the first systematic analysis of
gender-selective migration in a Third World context. It puts forward new guidelines for the
causes and consequences of gender selectivity in migrant flows, focusing on the importance of
women in Third World society and economics.
Clancy, M., Exporting Paradise: Tourism and Development in Mexico, Oxford: Pergamon,
Tourism and development are frequently mentioned together, yet the contribution of tourism to
development in the Third World is controversial. This book provides an in depth study of
Mexico’s experience with the international tourism industry over the last 35 years of the 20th
century. Beginning in the 1960s the Mexican government actively sought to export tourism
services to foreigners as a conscious development strategy. The book traces government efforts
and the developmental outcomes resulting from this policy of “exporting paradise.”
Clifford, J., The Predicament of Culture, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1988.
The Predicament of Culture is a critical ethnography of the West in its changing relations with
other societies. Analysing cultural practices such as anthropology, travel writing, collecting, and
museum displays of tribal art, James Clifford shows authoritative accounts of other ways of life to
be contingent fictions, now actively contested in postcolonial contexts. His critique raises
questions of global significance: Who has the authority to speak for any group’s identity and
authenticity? What are the essential elements and boundaries of a culture? How do self and “the
other” clash in the encounters of ethnography, travel, and modern interethnic relations? In
discussions of ethnography, surrealism, museums, and emergent tribal arts, Clifford probes the
late-twentieth century predicament of living simultaneously within, between, and after culture.
Clifford, J., Routes: Travel and Translation in the Late Twentieth Century, Cambridge:
Harvard University Press, 1997.
When culture makes itself at home in motion, where does an anthropologist stand? In a follow-up
to The Predicament of Culture, one of the defining books for anthropology in the last decade,
James Clifford takes the proper measure: a moving picture of a world that doesn’t stand still, that
reveals itself en route, in the airport lounge and the parking lot as much as in the marketplace and
the museum. In this collage of essays, meditations, poems, and travel reports, Clifford takes travel
and its difficult companion, translation, as openings into a complex modernity. He contemplates a
world ever more connected yet not homogeneous, a global history proceeding from the fraught
legacies of exploration, colonization, capitalist expansion, immigration, labour mobility, and
tourism. Ranging from Highland New Guinea to northern California, from Vancouver to London,
he probes current approaches to the interpretation and display of non-Western arts and cultures.
Wherever people and things cross paths and where institutional forces work to discipline unruly
encounters, Clifford’s concern is with struggles to displace stereotypes, to recognize divergent
histories, to sustain “postcolonial” and “tribal” identities in contexts of domination and
globalization. Travel, diaspora, border crossing, self-location, the making of homes away from
home: these are transcultural predicaments for the late twentieth century. The map that might
account for them, the history of an entangled modernity, emerges here as an unfinished series of
paths and negotiations, leading in many directions while returning again and again to the
struggles and arts of cultural encounter, the impossible, inescapable tasks of translation.
Coe, M. D. (1992), Breaking the Maya Code, New York: Thames and Hudson, revised ed.
Breaking the Maya Code tells the story of the last great decipherment of an ancient script. Twenty
years ago the ruined monuments of Maya civilization were mute, the hieroglyphic inscriptions on
magnificent stelae, temples and palaces largely unread. Today, thanks to an extraordinary
scientific breakthrough, these inscribed remains are revealing a history lost to humanity for a
millennium. Michael Coe is uniquely placed to give the inside story of this revolution in
understanding. Himself a world-renowned Maya scholar, he has known or worked with all the
main protagonists over the last thirty years: Yuri Knorosov, the brilliant Russian philologist who
opened the way to reading the records; Eric Thompson, the dominant Mayanist of his generation,
who vehemently opposed Knorosov; and the succeeding scholars who have vindicated the
Russian’s pioneer work. Coe interweaves a riveting tale of intellectual attack and counterattack
with a full overview of what we now know about the ancient Maya themselves. Far from being
the simple, peace-loving stargazers of Thompson’s imagination, they emerge as a much more
complex culture: obsessed with warfare, dynastic rivalries and ritual bloodletting, yet creators of
supreme masterpieces in art and architecture. Numerous examples of Maya writing, as well as
enlightening comparisons with other great decipherments, illuminate the narrative. This is a
superbly readable detective story, a challenging and informed account of one of the most exciting
intellectual adventures of our age.
Collier, G. A, Basta! Land and the Zapatista Rebellion in Chiapas, Chicago: Food First
Books, 1999.
On January 1, 1994, in the impoverished state of Chiapas in southern Mexico, the Zapatista
rebellion shot into the international spotlight. In this classic study of the rebellion’s roots, George
Collier paints a vivid picture of the historical struggle for land faced by the Maya Indians, who
are among Mexico’s poorest people. Examining the roles played by Catholic and Protestant
clergy, revolutionary and peasant movements, the oil boom and the debt crisis, NAFTA and the
free trade era, and finally the growing global justice movement, the author provides a rich context
for understanding the uprising and the subsequent history of the Zapatistas and rural Chiapas, up
to the present day.
Conquergood, D., “Performance Studies: Interventions and Radical Research”, The Drama
Review 46 (2002): 145-153.
Dwight Conquergood considers “knowing that” and “knowing about” alongside “knowing how”
and “knowing who”. “Knowing that” is the dominant way of knowing in universities: empirical
observation and critical analysis from a distanced perspective. This is a view from above what’s
being studied, a position anchored in previous discourses, the current paradigm, and secured in
print. “Knowing that” has historically attempted to be objective and to transcend location.
“Know-how” and “knowing who” are grounded in active, hands-on participation, in doing work.
This is a view from ground level, “in the thick of things” as Michel de Certeau might say.
Knowledge anchored in practice, remembered by and circulated within a creative community, in
and through practice. Ephemeral or immaterial knowledge that resists being captured fully in
writing, recorded in documentation or archived. “Know-how” and “knowing who” are a “view
from a body”, a particular, subjective body, rather than “a view from above”. Often these
vernacular skills and know-how are at the bottom of the hierarchy, they’re “subjugated
knowledges” of those in a weak position culturally. They’re not seen as a serious form of
knowledge because they remain outside of the academy. Conquergood speaks about these ways
of knowing as erased from history or overlooked because they are not legible, they resist being
inscribed in writing and legitimated in books. He uses Kenneth Burke to discuss the blind spots in
print-based scholarship - Burke writes about how the written record is only a fragment of spoken
expression - omitting gestures, tone of voice etc. Universities have historically privileged texts,
been scriptocentric. In a fairly polemical way Conquergood writes about the hegemony of
textualism in the West and how here, “only what is written is understood”. He draws on Raymond
Williams to critique highly-educated middle class academics, who are focused on reading and
thus fail to notice other forms of “skilled, creative activity”, from theatre and political activism to
craft. For Conquergood the making of art is a way of re-making culture, “know-how” is
knowledge that comes from doing and making art is a way of knowing, developing participatory
understanding and new practical knowledge. Let’s put to one side the historical antagonisms
between supposedly ephemeral art forms and supposedly enduring documents or books. Instead
let’s consider research data to be the traces that remain of events and temporary works, evidence
of knowledge generated by practice as research, of thinking through creative arts.
Cornelius, W., Fitzgerald, D. and Lewin Fisher P. (eds.), Mayan Journeys/The New
Migration from Yucatan to the United States, La Jolla, CA, and Boulder, CO: CCIS and
Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2007.
Yucatán, an impoverished state in southern Mexico, has recently emerged as a significant source
of US-bound migrants. Why did this state’s indigenous population wait so long to enter the
migration stream, and how do their experiences differ from those of earlier more traditional
migrants? Mayan Journeys explores how internal migration to southern Mexico’s tourist resorts
serves as a springboard for international migration and how the new migrants navigate enhanced
obstacles at the US-Mexico border and enter the US labour force. Drawing on an extensive 2006
survey of migrants and potential migrants in Tunkás, Yucatán, and its satellite communities in
Southern California, the authors provide new evidence of the failure of US border enforcement to
deter undocumented migration from Mexico.
Cravey, A., Women and Work in Mexico’s Maquiladoras, New York and Oxford: Rowman
and Littlefield Pub, 1998.
The emergence of global assembly plants is closely linked to the creation of a global female
industrial labour force. Women and Work in Mexico’s Maquiladoras examines this larger process
in Mexico, where despite a century of industrialization and a tradition of well-paid, highly
organized, male workers the maquiladora factories have turned to predominantly female labour.
Exploring this dramatic shift, this book convincingly demonstrates how gender restructuring in
workplaces and households has become a crucial element in the reorientation of Mexican
development. The author compares Mexico’s new industrial system with its historical antecedent
and documents federal policy changes that have resulted in distinct patterns of gender,
unionization, household form, and social welfare. Rich in ethnographic detail, the book uses the
voices of workers themselves to provide an intimate look at how daily lives have been
transformed in ways that could not have been foreseen by the national and international processes
shaping the country’s industrial transition.
De la Cadena, M. and Starn, O. (eds.), Indigenous Experience Today, London: Berg
Publishers, 2007.
A century ago, the idea of indigenous people as an active force in the contemporary world was
unthinkable. It was assumed that native societies everywhere would be swept away by the
forward march of the West and its own peculiar brand of progress and civilization. Nothing could
be further from the truth. Indigenous social movements wield new power, and groups as diverse
as Australian Aborigines, Ecuadorian Quichuas, and New Zealand Maoris, have found their own
distinctive and assertive ways of living in the present world. Indigenous Experience Today draws
together essays by prominent scholars in anthropology and other fields examining the varied face
of indigenous politics in Bolivia, Botswana, Canada, Chile, China, Indonesia, and the United
States, amongst others. The study challenges the accepted notions of indigeneity and the often
contentious issue of indigenous rights. Indigenous Experience Today demonstrates the
transnational dynamics of contemporary indigenous culture and politics around the world.
Elmendorf, M., Nine Mayan Women: A Village Faces Change, New York: Schenkman, 1976.
Anthropologist and author Mary Lindsay Elmendorf is best known for her studies of Mayan
women in the village of Chan Kom, Mexico, and for her work as a consulting anthropologist in
the application of appropriate technology for community participation and involvement. In this
study, Elmendorf focuses on the socio-impact of development on Chan Kom women.
Fatemi, K., (ed.) The maquiladora industry: Economic solution or problem?, New York, NY:
Praeger Publishers, 1990.
This pioneering volume presents an in-depth examination of the maquiladora phenomenon
written by experts on the subject. The contributors focus on three vital dimensions of the
maquiladora issue: the impact of the maquilas on workers and economic development in both the
U.S. and Mexico; the success or failure of the maquilas on an industry by industry basis; and the
strategic aspects of the maquiladora program from geopoltical and macroeconomic perspectives.
The controversial aspects of the maquilas - their impact on local pollution, unemployment and
labour market exploitation - also receive extended coverage.
Ferguson, J., Expectations of Modernity: Myths and Meanings of Urban Life on the Zambian
Copperbelt, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999.
Once lauded as the wave of the African future, Zambia’s economic boom in the 1960s and early
1970s was fueled by the export of copper and other primary materials. Since the mid-1970s,
however, the urban economy has rapidly deteriorated, leaving workers scrambling to get by.
Expectations of Modernity explores the social and cultural responses to this prolonged period of
sharp economic decline. Focusing on the experiences of mineworkers in the Copperbelt region,
James Ferguson traces the failure of standard narratives of urbanization and social change to
make sense of the Copperbelt’s recent history. He instead develops alternative analytic tools
appropriate for an “ethnography of decline.” Ferguson shows how the Zambian copper workers
understand their own experience of social, cultural, and economic “advance” and “decline.”
Ferguson’s ethnographic study transports us into their lives-the dynamics of their relations with
family and friends, as well as copper companies and government agencies. Theoretically
sophisticated and vividly written, Expectations of Modernity will appeal not only to those
interested in Africa today, but to anyone contemplating the illusory successes of today’s
globalizing economy.
Fernández-Kelly, M. P., For We Are Sold, I and My People: Women and Industry in Mexico’s
Frontier, New York: State University of New York Press, 1983.
On the basis of systematic research and personal experience, For We Are Sold, I and My People
uncovers some of the social costs of modern production. Maria Patricia Fernandez-Kelly peels off
the labels - “Made in Taiwan”, “Assembled in Mexico” - and the trade names - RCA, Sony,
General Motors, United Technologies, General Electric, Mattel, Chrysler, American Hospital
Supply - to reveal the hidden human dimensions of present-day multinational manufacturing
procedures. Focusing on Ciudad Juarez, located at the United States-Mexican border, FernandezKelly examines the reality of maquiladoras, the hundreds of assembly plants that since the 1960s
have been used by the Mexican government as part of its development strategy. Most
maquiladoras function as subsidiaries of large U.S.-based corporations and a majority of the
employees are women. Drawing from current knowledge in political economy and anthropology,
this study focuses on one common denominator of the international division of labour--a growing
proletariat of Third World women exploited by what some experts are calling “the global
assembly line”.
Freire, P., Pedagogia do oprimido, Rio de Janeiro: Editora Paz e Terra, 1970.
First published in Portuguese in 1968, Pedagogy of the Oppressed was translated and published in
English in 1970. The methodology of the late Paulo Freire has helped to empower countless
impoverished and illiterate people throughout the world. Freire’s work has taken on especial
urgency in the United States and Western Europe, where the creation of a permanent underclass
among the underprivileged and minorities in cities and urban centres is increasingly accepted as
the norm. With a substantive new introduction on Freire’s life and the remarkable impact of this
book by writer and Freire confidant and authority Donaldo Macedo, this anniversary edition of
Pedagogy of the Oppressed will inspire a new generation of educators, students, and general
readers for years to come.
Friedman, J., Cultural Identity and the Global Process, Sage Publications London: Thousand
Oaks, 1994.
This fascinating book explores the interface between global processes, identity formation and the
production of culture. Examining ideas ranging from world systems theory to postmodernism,
Jonathan Friedman investigates the relations between the global and the local, to show how
cultural fragmentation and modernist homogenization are equally constitutive trends of global
reality. With examples taken from a rich variety of theoretical sources, ethnographic accounts of
historical eras, the analysis ranges across the cultural formations of ancient Greece, contemporary
processes of Hawaiian cultural identification and Congolese beauty cults. Throughout, the author
examines the interdependency of world market and local cultures.
Fröbel, F., et al., The new international division of labour: structural unemployment in
industrialised countries and industrialisation in developing countries, Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1980.
The main thesis of this study is that the world economy is undergoing a profound structural
change that is forcing companies to reorganize their production on a global scale. This is being
brought about both through the relocation of production to new industrial sites, increasingly in the
developing countries, and through the accelerated rationalisation measures at the traditional sites
of industrial manufacture. The authors have designated this structural movement as ‘the new
international division of labour’, and argue that it has led to the crisis that can be observed in
industrial countries, as well as to the first steps towards export-oriented manufacturing in the
developing countries. They see these trends as being largely independent of the policies pursued
by individual governments and the strategies for expansion adopted by individual firms, and
argue that the conditions currently prevailing in the capitalist world economy mean that the
efforts of individual countries to devise economic policies to reduce industrial unemployment in
the industrialised countries or to accentuate a balanced process of industrialisation in the
developing countries are doomed to failure.
García Canclini, N., Culturas híbridas: estrategias para entrar y salir de la modernidad,
México: Grijalbo, 1989.
When it was originally published, Hybrid Cultures was foundational to Latin American cultural
studies. This now-classic work features a new introduction in which Nestor García Canclini calls
for a cultural politics to contain the damaging effects of globalization and responds to relevant
theoretical developments over the past decade. García Canclini questions whether Latin America
can compete in a global marketplace without losing its cultural identity. He moves with ease from
the ideas of Gramsci and Foucault to economic analysis, from appraisals of the exchanges
between Octavio Paz and Jorge Luis Borges to Chicano film and grafitti. Hybrid Cultures at once
clarifies the development of democratic institutions in Latin America and reveals that the most
destructive ideological trends are still going strong.
Goffman, E., The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, University of Edinburgh Social
Sciences Research Centre, 1956.
The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life was the first book to treat face-to-face interaction as a
subject of sociological study. Goffman treated it as a kind of report in which he frames out the
theatrical performance that applies to face-to-face interactions. He believed that when an
individual comes in contact with other people, that individual will attempt to control or guide the
impression that others might make of him by changing or fixing his or her setting, appearance and
manner. At the same time, the person the individual is interacting with is trying to form and
obtain information about the individual. Goffman also believed that all participants in social
interactions are engaged in certain practices to avoid being embarrassed or embarrassing others.
This led to Goffman’s dramaturgical analysis. Goffman saw a connection between the kinds of
acts that people put on in their daily life and theatrical performances. In social interaction, as in
theatrical performance, there is a front region where the “actors” (individuals) are on stage in
front of the audiences. This is where the positive aspect of the idea of self and desired
impressions are highlighted. There is also a back region or stage that can also be considered as a
hidden or private place where individuals can be themselves and get rid of their role or identity in
society. The core of Goffman’s analysis lies in this relationship between performance and life.
Unlike other writers who have used this metaphor, Goffman seems to take all elements of acting
into consideration: an actor performs on a setting which is constructed of a stage and a backstage;
the props in both settings direct his action; he is being watched by an audience, but at the same
time he is an audience for his viewers’ play.
Grindle, M. S., State and Countryside. Development Policy and Agrarian Politics in Latin
America, Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986.
The natural environment in Nicaragua has been damaged by rural development policies geared
for the export of cash crops, by uneven land distribution and the near absence of concerns about
the environmental effects of the prevailing model of development. The demands made by market
forces for the export of primary materials have been reasons for land degradation in the big farms,
and the need to survive a poverty stricken existence has forced the peasantry to damage the
marginal and fragile land they worked. Successive governments did not address these underlying
causes of environmental degradation, and even the opportunities afforded by the environment
programme that resulted from the 1979 Sandinista revolution, did not result in significant
environmental improvements. The paper briefly considers the constraints faced by the Sandinista
administration and how the farmer-to-farmer programme (Campesino-a-Campesino) was brought
about as a result of the impacts of the Sandinista era. The substantive part of the paper considers
PCAC’s significance as an agroecological programme and its advantages and limitations for
improving peasants’ livelihoods via dissemination of land-protective measures. The viability of
the programme is assessed by field work carried out examining in detail the case of three
communities, and the paper concludes that the gains made in environmental protection and
conservation are in jeopardy without structural policy changes. The paper proposes that for the
programme to improve its potential, adequate political will, power and organization are necessary
to facilitate greater access to secure land tenure among the peasantry.
Gruzinski, S., La Pensée métisse, Paris: Fayard, 1999.
Serge Gruzinski, the renowned historian of Latin America, offers a brilliant, original critique of
colonization and globalization in The Mestizo Mind. Looking at the fifteenth-century colonization
of Latin America, Gruzinski documents the mélange that resulted: colonized mating with
colonizers; Indians joining the Catholic Church and colonial government; and Amerindian
visualizations of Jesus and Perseus. These physical and cultural encounters created a new culture,
a new individual, and a phenomenon we now call globalization. Revealing globalization’s early
origins, Gruzinski then fast-forwards to the contemporary mélange seen in the films of Peter
Greenaway and Wong Kar-Wai to argue that over 500 years of intermingling has produced the
mestizo mind, a state of mixed thinking that we all possess. A masterful alchemy of history,
anthropology, philosophy and visual analysis, The Mestizo Mind definitively conceptualizes the
clash of civilizations in the style of Homi Bhabha, Gayatri Spivak and Anne McClintock.
Gupta, A., and Ferguson J., Culture, Power, Place: Exploitations in Critical Anthropology,
Durham: Duke University Press, 1997a.
Anthropology has traditionally relied on a spatially localized society or culture as its object of
study. The essays in Culture, Power, Place demonstrate how in recent years this anthropological
convention and its attendant assumptions about identity and cultural difference have undergone a
series of important challenges. In light of increasing mass migration and the transnational cultural
flows of a late capitalist, postcolonial world, the contributors to this volume examine shifts in
anthropological thought regarding issues
of identity, place, power, and resistance.
This collection of both new and well-known essays begins by critically exploring the concepts of
locality and community; first, as they have had an impact on contemporary global understandings
of displacement and mobility, and, second, as they have had a part in defining identity and
subjectivity itself. With sites of discussion ranging from a democratic Spain to a Puerto Rican
barrio in North Philadelphia, from Burundian Hutu refugees in Tanzania to Asian landscapes in
rural California, from the silk factories of Hangzhou to the long-sought-after home of the
Palestinians, these essays examine the interplay between changing schemes of categorization and
the discourses of difference on which these concepts are based. The effect of the placeless mass
media on our understanding of place - and the forces that make certain identities viable in the
world and others not - are also discussed, as are the intertwining of place-making, identity, and
resistance as they interact with the meaning and consumption of signs. Finally, this volume offers
a self-reflective look at the social and political location of anthropologists in relation to the
questions of culture, power, and place - the effect of their participation in what was once seen as
their descriptions of these constructions. Contesting the classical idea of culture as the shared, the
agreed upon, and the orderly, Culture, Power, Place is an important intervention in the disciplines
of anthropology and cultural studies.
Healey, S., “Alternative Economies”, in Thrift and Kitchin (eds), The International
Encyclopaedia of Human Geography, Oxford: Elsevier, 2008.
When people speak of “the economy” they tend only to think of formal commodity markets,
waged and salaried labour and capitalist enterprises focused on creating profit for owners or
shareholders. In this article Healey argues for a the possibility that the economy can be a space of
ethical action, not a place of submission to “the bottom line” or the “imperatives of capital” as it
is so often portrayed. We have found, however, that to imagine and enact “other” economies is no
small feat. A significant barrier resides in ourselves, in the very way that we understand “the
economy”. As Stephen Healy (2009) argues, when the capitalist economy is seen as the real,
dominant and or most powerful form of economic life, the alternative economy is usually seen as
idealistic, inferior and powerless. But if we displace this binary view of the economy with one of
radical difference - of diverse capitalist and non-capitalist economic forms - then we open up
many more spaces of action without prejudging their transformative potential. From here our task
can be to facilitate ethical debates about which practices foster community wellbeing and
resilience and to conduct research that supports and grows these practices.
Hernández Castillo, R. A., Histories and Stories from Chiapas: Border Identities in Southern
Mexico, Austin: University of Texas Press, 2001.
The 1994 Zapatista uprising of Chiapas’ Maya peoples against the Mexican government shattered
the state myth that indigenous groups have been successfully assimilated into the nation. In this
wide-ranging study of identity formation in Chiapas, Aída Hernández delves into the experience
of a Maya group, the Mam, to analyse how Chiapas’ indigenous peoples have in fact rejected,
accepted, or negotiated the official discourse on “being Mexican” and participating in the
construction of a Mexican national identity. Hernández traces the complex relations between the
Mam and the national government from 1934 to the Zapatista rebellion. She investigates the
many policies and modernization projects through which the state has attempted to impose a
Mexican identity on the Mam and shows how this Maya group has resisted or accommodated
these efforts. In particular, she explores how changing religious affiliation, women’s and
ecological movements, economic globalization, state policies, and the Zapatista movement have
all given rise to various ways of “being Mam” and considers what these indigenous identities may
mean for the future of the Mexican nation. The Spanish version of this book won the 1997 Fray
Bernardino de Sahagún national prize for the best social anthropology research in Mexico.
Hockey, J. and Allen-Collinson J., “The sensorium at work: the sensory phenomenology of
the working body”, Sociological Review, 57 (2), 2009: 217-239.
The sociology of the body and the sociology of work and occupations have both neglected to
some extent the study of the “working body” in paid employment, particularly with regard to
empirical research into the sensory aspects of working practices. This gap is perhaps surprising
given how strongly the sensory dimension features in much of working life. This article is very
much a first step in calling for a more phenomenological, embodied and “fleshy” perspective on
the body in employment, and examines some of the theoretical and conceptual resources available
to researchers wishing to focus on the lived working-body experiences of the sensorium. It also
considers some possible representational forms for a more evocative, phenomenologicallyinspired portrayal of sensory, lived-working-body experiences, and offers suggestions for future
avenues of research.
Hodgson, G. M., How Economics Forgot History: The Problem of Historical Specificity in
Social Science, London: Routledge, 2001.
In arguably his most important book to date, Hodgson calls into question the tendency of
economic method to try and explain all economic phenomena by using the same catch-all theories
and dealing in universal truths. He argues that you need different theories to analyse different
economic phenomena and systems and that historical context must be taken into account.
Hodgson argues that the German Historical School was key in laying the foundations for the work
of the pioneer institutional economists, who themselves are gaining currency today; and that the
growing interest in this school of thought is contributing to a more complete understanding of
socio-economic theory.
Jameson, F., Postmodernism: The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, Durham, NC: Duke
University Press, 1990.
In this controversial book, Jameson viewed the postmodern “skepticism towards metanarratives”
as a “mode of experience” stemming from the conditions of intellectual labour imposed by the
late capitalist mode of production. Postmodernists claimed that the complex differentiation
between “spheres” or fields of life (such as the political, the social, the cultural, the commercial,
etc.) and between distinct classes and roles within each field had been overcome by the crisis of
foundationalism and the consequent relativization of truth-claims. Jameson argued, against this,
that these phenomena had or could have been understood successfully within a modernist
framework; postmodern failure to achieve this understanding implied an abrupt break in the
dialectical refinement of thought. In his view, postmodernity’s merging of all discourse into an
undifferentiated whole was the result of the colonization of the cultural sphere, which had
retained at least partial autonomy during the prior modernist era, by a newly organized corporate
capitalism. Following Adorno and Horkheimer’s analysis of the culture industry, Jameson
discussed this phenomenon in his critical discussion of architecture, film, narrative and visual
arts, as well as in his strictly philosophical work. Two of Jameson’s best-known claims from
Postmodernism are that postmodernity is characterized by pastiche and a crisis in historicity.
Jameson argued that parody (which requires a moral judgment or comparison with societal
norms) was replaced by pastiche (collage and other forms of juxtaposition without a normative
grounding). Relatedly, Jameson argued that the postmodern era suffers from a crisis in historicity.
Jameson’s analysis of postmodernism attempted to view it as historically grounded; he therefore
explicitly rejected any moralistic opposition to postmodernity as a cultural phenomenon, and
continued to insist upon a Hegelian immanent critique that would “think the cultural evolution of
late capitalism dialectically, as catastrophe and progress all together”.
Joseph, G., Rubenstein, A., Zolov, E., Fragments of a Golden Age: the Politics of Culture in
Mexico Since 1940, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001.
During the twentieth century the Mexican government invested in the creation and promotion of a
national culture more aggressively than any other state in the western hemisphere. Fragments of a
Golden Age provides a comprehensive cultural history of the vibrant Mexico that emerged after
1940. Agreeing that the politics of culture and its production, dissemination, and reception
constitute one of the keys to understanding this period of Mexican history, the volume’s
contributors - historians, popular writers, anthropologists, artists, and cultural critics - weigh in on
a wealth of topics from music, tourism, television, and sports to theatre, unions, art, and
magazines. Each essay in its own way addresses the fragmentation of a cultural consensus that
prevailed during the “golden age” of post–revolutionary prosperity, a time when the state was still
successfully bolstering its power with narratives of modernization and shared community.
Combining detailed case studies - both urban and rural - with larger discussions of political,
economic, and cultural phenomena, the contributors take on such topics as the golden age of
Mexican cinema, the death of Pedro Infante as a political spectacle, the 1951 “caravan of
hunger”, professional wrestling, rock music, and soap operas. Fragments of a Golden Age fill a
particular gap for students of modern Mexico, Latin American studies, cultural studies, political
economy, and twentieth century history, as well as to others concerned with rethinking the
cultural dimensions of nationalism, imperialism, and modernization.
Judd, Dennis R., (ed.) The Infrastructure of Play: Building the Tourist City, Armonk NY:
M.E. Sharpe, 2002.
Through in-depth case studies, this timely volume shows how the new infrastructure of tourism
has transformed cities throughout North America. It makes clear that the modern urban
environment is being thoroughly altered to emphasize the growing tourism sector in such areas as
renovated waterfronts, convention centres, downtown malls, sports stadiums, and entertainment
districts. With contributions from such eminent figures in the field as Susan Clarke, Mark Levine,
David Perry, and Donald Norris, The Infrastructure of Play offers the most current,
comprehensive, and authoritative look at this important emerging phenomenon.
Kamel, R. and Hoffman, A. (eds.), The maquiladora reader: Cross-border organizing since
NAFTA. Philadelphia, PA: American Friends Service Committee, 1999.
“Globalization” is one of the most talked-about phenomena of the 1990s, but little information is
available on how those who are most involved - the communities and working people affected by
globetrotting corporations - are responding to its challenges. The Maquiladora Reader explores
how grassroots activists are facing one of the most important trends in the globalization of
production: the proliferation of maquiladoras, the foreign- (mostly U.S.-) owned assembly plants
along the Mexico-U.S. border. Through more than two dozen readings culled from a variety of
sources, The Maquiladora Reader reveals the determination and creativity of maquiladora
workers as they seek to improve their wages and working conditions, protect their communities
from health and environmental hazards, and build cross-border relationships with unions,
religious groups, community organizations, and others.
Kearney, M., “The Local and the Global: the Anthropology of Globalization and
Transnationalism”, in Annual Review of Anthropology 24, 1995: 547-565.
This review examines current anthropological literature concerned with migration and other
forms of population movement, and with the movement of information, symbols, capital, and
commodities in global and transnational spaces. Special attention is given to the significance of
contemporary increases in the volume and velocity of such flows for the dynamics of
communities and for the identity of their members. Also examined are innovations in
anthropological theory and forms of representation that are responses to such nonlocal contexts
and influences.
Kopinak, K., Desert Capitalism, Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1996.
Progress does not come easily to the maquiladoras. These foreign-owned assembly plants have
moved southward from the border into Sonora and Chihuahua, giving rise to the concept of
“desert capitalism.” However, the plants have not necessarily brought about the improvements in
the lives of workers that had been so hopefully expected. Sociologist Kathryn Kopinak here
examines the maquiladora industry in Nogales, Sonora, and explores various questions
concerning how it is changing with NAFTA and other attempts at regional integration. Focusing
on the auto-parts industry, Kopinak observes that few maquiladoras have taken steps toward more
sophisticated technology and innovative labour practices anticipated by the “second wave”
hypothesis of modernization. She argues instead that the apparent advances have not benefitted
the overwhelming majority of Mexican employees by increasing their wages or involving them in
the workplace. Women workers in particular are segmented at the bottom of the job ladder.
Kopinak provides information on facilities in both Nogales and the town of Imuris to offer a
balanced perspective on border and inland maquiladoras. Desert Capitalism draws on interviews
with workers about their daily lives in both their home and adopted communities and on
interviews with Mexican and U.S. plant managers. Community surveys, newspaper
advertisements, and government records are other important sources of data. It also reviews and
synthesizes literature published only in Spanish and utilizes creative quantitative statistical
techniques. The book thus marks a significant study of people’s lives that seeks to contribute to
the understanding of ongoing continental economic reorganization, and it holds important lessons
for scholars of economics, anthropology, political science, history, sociology, women’s studies,
and regional planning.
Lamphere, L., From Working Daughters to Working Mothers: Immigrants women in a New
England Industrial Community, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1987.
Since World War II, an important transformation has occurred in American society as wives and
others have increasingly taken jobs outside the home. American women have always worked,
however - first almost solely in the home and later also as wage earners outside the home.
Anthropologist Louise Lamphere here provides an analysis of both kinds of work and shows how
they have been interconnected in the lives of women in the industrial community of Central Falls,
Rhode Island. From Working Daughters to Working Mothers offers a dynamic picture of
working-class women, one that sees them not as passive victims but as active agents who draw
upon a range of strategies and behaviours both to deal with their employment and to help their
families cope with the industrial order. The book will be engaging reading for anthropologists,
social and labour historians, sociologists, political economists, and students of women’s studies.
Lash, S. and Urry, J., Economies of Signs and Space, London: Sage, 1994.
This is a novel account of social change that supplants conventional understandings of “society”
and presents a sociology that takes as its main unit of analysis flows through time and across
space. Developing a comparative analysis of the UK and US, the new Germany and Japan, Lash
and Urry show how restructuration after organized capitalism has its basis in increasingly
reflexive social actors and organizations. The consequence is not only the much-vaunted
“postmodern condition” but also a growth in reflexivity. In exploring this new reflexive world,
the authors argue that today’s economies are increasingly ones of signs - information, symbols,
images, desire - and of space, where both signs and social subjects - refugees, financiers and
tourists - are mobile over ever greater distances at ever greater speeds.
Lim, L., “Capitalism, Imperialism, and Patriarchy: the Dilemma of Third World Women
Workers in Multinational Factories”, in Nash, J., and Fernández-Kelly, M., (eds.) Women,
Men, and the International Division of Labor, Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1983.
This article explores a central theoretical and political question that as yet remains unanswered: is
the employment of women factory workers by multinational corporations in developing countries
primarily an experience of liberation, as development economists and governments maintain, or
one of exploitation, as feminists assert, for the women concerned?
Lindsley, S. L., “Communication and ‘The Mexican Way’: Stability and trust as core
symbols in maquiladoras”, in Western Journal of Communication 1, 1999: 1-31.
Core cultural symbols are clusters of symbolic systems with a central and unifying force which
reveal the way people construct meaning and enact identity through communication processes.
This study examined the core symbols of “stability” and “trust” in Mexican communication in
U.S. American‐ owned assembly plants in Mexico (maquiladoras) and found that while Mexicans
perceive “stability” and “trust” as organizing constructs contributing to satisfying relationships,
they evaluate U.S. American communicative behaviours as eroding these core ideals. This study
reveals that analysis of core cultural symbols is a powerful framework for understanding the ways
both structural conditions and dyadic behaviours influence satisfaction and effectiveness in
organizational relationships.
Little, W., Mayas in the Marketplace: Tourism, Globalization, and Cultural Identity, Austin:
University of Texas Press, 2004.
Selling handicrafts to tourists has brought the Maya peoples of Guatemala into the world market.
Vendors from rural communities now offer their wares to more than 500,000 international tourists
annually in the marketplaces of larger cities such as Antigua, Guatemala City, Panajachel, and
Chichicastenango. Like businesspeople anywhere, Maya artisans analyse the desires and needs of
their customers and shape their products to meet the demands of the market. But how has
adapting to the global marketplace reciprocally shaped the identity and cultural practices of the
Maya peoples? Drawing on over a decade of fieldwork, Walter Little presents the first
ethnographic study of Maya handicraft vendors in the international marketplace. Focusing on
Kaqchikel Mayas who commute to Antigua to sell their goods, he explores three significant
issues: how the tourist marketplace conflates global and local distinctions? How the marketplace
becomes a border zone where national and international, developed and underdeveloped, and
indigenous and non-indigenous come together? How marketing to tourists changes social roles,
gender relationships, and ethnic identity in the vendors’ home communities. Little’s wide-ranging
research challenges our current understanding of tourism’s negative impact on indigenous
communities. He demonstrates that the Maya are maintaining a specific, community-based sense
of Maya identity, even as they commodify their culture for tourist consumption in the world
Lomnitz, C., Deep Mexico, Silent Mexico: An Anthropology of Nationalism, Minneapolis:
University of Minnesota Press, 2001.
In Mexico, as elsewhere, the national space, that network of places where the people interact with
state institutions, is constantly changing. How it does so, how it develops, is a historical process-a
process that Claudio Lomnitz exposes, explores, and theorizes in this book, which develops a
distinct view of the cultural politics of nation building in Mexico. Lomnitz highlights the varied,
evolving, and often conflicting efforts that have been made by Mexicans over the past two
centuries to imagine, organize, represent, and know their country, its relations with the wider
world, and its internal differences and inequalities.
Lorey, D., The U.S.-Mexican Border in the Twentieth Century, Wilmington, Delaware: SR
Books, 1999.
The 2,000-mile-long international boundary between the United States and Mexico gives shape to
a unique social, economic, and cultural entity. This book describes the evolution of the region.
Lugo, A., Fragmented Lives, Assembled Parts: Culture, Capitalism, and Conquest at the U.S.Mexico Border, Austin: University of Texas Press, 2008.
Although overshadowed these days in mainstream media by drug cartel violence, Ciudad Juarez
has come to capture the minds of many people concerned about social justice, and for good
reason. In no other city in Latin America do controversies such as globalization, economic
collapse, institutionalized violence against women, history, immigration, resistance, North
American exceptionalism and the much lauded Eduardo Galleano-esque mythology so crisply cut
paths. Juarez is as much a place of triumph as it is the crushing sadness that has come to
symbolize its cycle of death the last 20 years. Fragmented Lives, Fragmented Parts: Culture,
Capitalism and Conquest at the U.S.-Mexico Border by Alejandro Lugo seeks to make sense of
the world of Juarez, a city at war with itself as well as those outside. The real value in books like
Lugo’s is in their efforts to tell Mexico’s story in a way that is unafraid to tangle with patriotism,
indigenism and the nation’s conflicted cultural pride. That pride slammed headfirst a few years
ago into elites’ deals to import U.S. jobs and exploit Mexican underclasses in the service of North
American corporations’ maquiladoras. Those maquilas were largely transferred to cheaper labour
pools in South Asia in the new century, and the result on the Mexican psyche was significant.
Lugo should receive high praise for his willingness to talk about Mexico and its contradictions
between national integrity and free-market opportunism.
MacAloon, J., ed. Rite, Drama, Festival, Spectacle: Rehearsals toward a Theory of Cultural
Performance, Philadelphia: Institute for the Study of Human Issues, 1984.
In the introduction to his 1984 anthology Rite, Drama, Festival, Spectacle: Rehearsals Toward a
Theory of Cultural Performance, John J. MacAloon describes the foundational moment of the
study of performance in these terms: Dell Hymes has coined the phrase breakthrough into
performance to describe the passage of human agents into a distinctive mode of existence and
realization. Breakthrough into performance equally well configures certain initially independent
intellectual developments in the 1950s that have served as a foundation for the now rapidly
expanding and coalescing interests in the study of cultural forms exemplified by this volume. No
historian of ideas has yet attended to the complicated history of the performative approach. While
not explicitly attending to such a complicated history himself, MacAloon nonetheless summarizes
the key theoretical contributions made by four writers in the 1940s and 1950s: Victor Turner’s
concept of social drama, Milton Singer’s cultural performance, Kenneth Burke’s dramatistic
pentad, and Erving Goffman’s social psychology of everyday life.
MacKenzie, An Engine, Not a Camera: How Financial Models Shape Markets, Cambridge,
MA: MIT Press, 2006.
MacKenzie examines the role played by finance theory in the two most serious crises to hit the
world’s financial markets in recent years: the stock market crash of 1987 and the market turmoil
that engulfed the hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management in 1998. He also looks at finance
theory that is somewhat beyond the mainstream - chaos theorist Benoit Mandelbrot’s model of
“wild” randomness. MacKenzie’s pioneering work in the social studies of finance will interest
anyone who wants to understand how America’s financial markets have come to take the shape
they have. A work in the social studies of finance that describes how the emergence of modern
finance theory has affected financial markets in fundamental ways. Paraphrasing Milton
Friedman, the author says that economic models are an engine of inquiry rather than a camera to
reproduce empirical facts. A pioneering work in the social studies of finance describes how the
emergence of modern finance theory has affected financial markets in fundamental ways - as an
engine that shapes them rather than a camera that reproduces their every detail. In “An Engine,
Not a Camera”, Donald MacKenzie argues that the emergence of modern economic theories of
finance affected financial markets in fundamental ways. These new, Nobel Prize-winning
theories, based on elegant mathematical models of markets, were not simply external analyses but
an intrinsic part of economic processes. Paraphrasing Milton Friedman, Mackenzie says that
economic models are an engine of inquiry rather than a camera to reproduce empirical facts.
MacKenzie, D., F. Muniesa and L. Siu (Eds.), Do Economists Make Markets? On the
Performativity of Economics, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007.
Around the globe, economists affect markets by saying what markets are doing, what they should
do, and what they will do. Increasingly, experimental economists are even designing real-world
markets. But, despite these facts, economists are still largely thought of as scientists who merely
observe markets from the outside, like astronomers look at the stars. Do Economists Make
Markets? boldly challenges this view. It is the first book dedicated to the controversial question
of whether economics is performative - of whether, in some cases, economics actually produces
the phenomena it analyses. The book’s case studies - including financial derivatives markets,
telecommunications-frequency auctions, and individual transferable quotas in fisheries - give
substance to the notion of the performativity of economics in an accessible, nontechnical way.
Some chapters defend the notion; others attack it vigorously. The book ends with an extended
chapter in which Michel Callon, the idea’s main formulator, reflects upon the debate and asks
what it means to say economics is performative. The book’s insights and strong claims about the
ways economics is entangled with the markets it studies should interest - and provoke - economic
sociologists, economists, and other social scientists. In addition to the editors and Callon, the
contributors include Marie-France, Garcia-Parpet, Francesco Guala, Emmanuel Didier, Philip
Mirowski, Edward Nik-Khah, Petter Holm, Vincent-Antonin Lpinay, and Timothy Mitchell.
Martinez, R., Crossing Over: A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail, New York: Picador,
The U.S.-Mexican border is one of the most permeable boundaries in the world, breached daily
by Mexicans in search of work. Thousands die crossing the line and those who reach “the other
side” are branded illegals, undocumented and unprotected. Crossing Over puts a human face on
the phenomenon, following the exodus of the Chávez clan, an extended Mexican family who lost
three sons in a tragic border accident. Martínez follows the migrants’ progress from their small
southern Mexican town of Cherán to California, Wisconsin, and Missouri where far from joining
the melting pot, Martínez argues, the seven million migrants in the U.S. are creating a new culture
that will alter both Mexico and the United States as the two countries come increasingly to
resemble each other.
Mies, M., Patriarchy and Accumulation on a World Scale: Women in the International
Division of Labour, New Jersey: Zed Books, 1986.
This now classic book traces the social origins of the sexual division of labour. It gives a history
of the related processes of colonization and “housewifization” and extends this analysis to the
contemporary new international division of labour and the role that women have to play as the
cheapest producers and consumers. First published in 1986, it was hailed as a major paradigm
shift for feminist theory. Eleven years on, Maria Mies’ theory of capitalist patriarchy has become
even more relevant; this new edition includes a substantial new introduction in which she both
applies her theory to the new globalized world and answers her critics.
Mohanty et al. (eds.) Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism, Bloomington:
Indiana University Press, 1991.
These essays document the debates, conflicts, and contradictions among those engaged in
developing third world feminist theory and politics. Contributors: Evelyne Accad, M. Jacqui
Alexander, Carmen Barroso, Cristina Bruschini, Rey Chow, Juanita Diaz-Cotto, Angela Gilliam,
Faye V. Harrison, Cheryl Johnson-Odim, Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Ann Russo, Barbara Smith,
Nayereh Tohidi, Lourdes Torres, Cheryl L. West, & Nellie Wong.
Nagib, L., World Cinema and the Ethics of Realism, New York/London: Continuum, 2011.
World Cinema and the Ethics of Realism is a highly original study. Traditional views of
cinematic realism usually draw on the so-called classical cinema and its allegiance to narrative
mimesis, but Nagib challenges this, drawing instead on the filmmaker’s commitment to truth and
to the film medium’s material bond with the real. Starting from the premise that world cinema’s
creative peaks are governed by an ethics of realism, Nagib conducts comparative case studies
picked from world new waves, such as the Japanese New Wave, the French nouvelle vague, the
Cinema Novo, the New German Cinema, the Russo-Cuban Revolutionary Cinema, the
Portuguese self-performing auteur and the Inuit Indigenous Cinema. In all cases, making films is
making history, entailing change in the real life of casts and crews, and therefore producing,
rather than reproducing, reality. Drawing upon Badiou and Rancière, World Cinema and the
Ethics of Realism revisits and reformulates several fundamental concepts in film studies, such as
illusionism, identification, apparatus, alienation effects, presentation and representation. Its
groundbreaking scholarship takes film theory in a bold new direction.
Napolitano, V., Migration, Mujercitas and Medicine Men: Living in Urban Mexico. Berkeley:
University of California Press, 2002.
Valentina Napolitano explores issues of migration, medicine, religion, and gender in this incisive
analysis of everyday practices of urban living in Guadalajara, Mexico. Drawing on fieldwork over
a ten-year period, Napolitano paints a rich and vibrant picture of daily life in a low-income
neighbourhood of Guadalajara. Migration, Mujercitas, and Medicine Men insightfully portrays
the personal experiences of the neighbourhood’s residents while engaging with important
questions about the nature of selfhood, subjectivity, and community identity as well as the
tensions of modernity and its discontents in Mexican society.
Nash, J., Mayan Visions: The Quest for Autonomy in an Age of Globalization, New York and
London: Routledge Press, 2001.
A significant work by one of anthropology’s most important scholars, this book provides an
introduction to the Chiapas Mayan community of Mexico, better known for their role in the
Zapatista Rebellion. June Nash updates the status of this centuries-old confrontation as well as
presents a fascinating examination of how the Chiapas, as a governing entity, are entering into the
New World Order. Using the Chiapas as a case study of the effects and possibilities of
globalization Nash views the Zapatista Rebellion as one expression of the Maya’s attempts to
remain true to their culture in the face of the extraordinary changes taking place in Mexico today.
At issue here are the competing influences of Western modernity and the cultural traditions of the
Chiapas-ideas about governing, identity, cultural traditions, and communal obligations are all at
stake. Based on over 40 years studying the Chiapas, Nash argues that this famous indigenous
group has much to tell us about autonomy, nationality and globalization. Within a global
economy, the Chiapas challenge for autonomy can be seen as a model for redefining ethnic group
relations and the development process within Mexico, the hemisphere and our global society.
Nash, J., and Fernández-Kelly, M., (eds.) Women, Men, and the International Division of
Labor, Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1983.
This well cited volume consists of many of the works of the leading scholars who were engaged
in the gendered labour process debate, such as Ong, Kelly-Fernandez, Sassen, Lim, Nash, Enloe,
Hu, and others. While their perspectives vary, many utilize ethnographic fieldwork to theorize the
conditions generating inequalities between men and women workers, and between workers in the
Global North and South, during the “international division of production” that came in
prominence during the late 1970s. Many examine and critique the penetration of multinational
corporations that deployed feminized labour in the export-processing zones of peripheral nations,
while others probe the role of the state in promoting gender and development ideologies that
made this strategy of accumulation possible in countries such as Mexico, Taiwan, Malaysia, and
Peterson, V. S., “Introduction”, in Gendered States: Feminist (Re)Visions of International
Relations Theory, Peterson, V. S. ed., Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 1992.
While IR theorists are increasingly critical of neorealist assumptions about the state and the
international system, few have explored the gendered construction of the state and its implications
for IR. Recognizing this, the authors of this collection explore how core concepts of political and
IR theory - the state, sovereignty, and power - are reframed through feminist lenses. Taking
seriously the question of “what difference does gender make?”, the authors illuminate new
directions in IR by highlighting the role of gender in constructing and maintaining the sovereign
state system and its related notions of security, autonomy and identity.
Pink, S., Visual Interventions: Applied Visual Anthropology, Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2007.
Pink’s book is a valuable resource for researchers, activists, and social service workers looking
for innovative visual methodologies for collaborative research and social intervention. It makes
an excellent contribution to the ongoing academic debate over the value of applied and visual
social research, as well. Through a series of case studies based on applied visual anthropological
work in a range of contexts (health and medicine, tourism and heritage, social development,
conflict and disaster relief, community filmmaking and empowerment, and industry) this volume
examines both the range contexts in which applied visual anthropology is engaged, and the
methodological and theoretical issues it raises.
Pink, S., Doing Visual Anthropology, London: Sage publications, 2001.
In Doing Visual Ethnography Sarah Pink explores the use and potential of photography, video,
and hypermedia in ethnographic and social research. It offers a reflexive approach to theoretical,
methodological, practical, and ethical issues of using these media now that they are increasingly
being incorporated into field research. Author Sarah Pink adopts the viewpoint that visual
research methods should be rooted in a critical understanding of local and academic visual
cultures, the visual media, and technologies being used and the ethical issues they raise.
Postero, N., Now We Are Citizens: Indigenous Politics in Post-Multicultural Bolivia, Latin
American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007.
Upon winning the 2005 presidential election, Evo Morales became the first indigenous person to
lead Bolivia since the arrival of the Spanish more than five hundred years before. Morales’s
election is the culmination of a striking new kind of activism in Bolivia. Born out of a history of
resistance to colonial racism and developed in collective struggles against the post-revolutionary
state, this movement crystallized over the last decade as poor and Indian Bolivian citizens
engaged with the democratic promises and exclusions of neoliberal multiculturalism. This
ethnography of the Guaraní Indians of Santa Cruz traces how recent political reforms, most
notably the Law of Popular Participation, recast the racist exclusions of the past, and offers a
fresh look at neoliberalism. Armed with the language of citizenship and an expectation of the
rights citizenship implies, this group is demanding radical changes to the structured inequalities
that mark Bolivian society. As the 2005 election proved, even Bolivia’s most marginalized people
can reform fundamental ideas about the nation, multiculturalism, neoliberalism, and democracy.
Pratt, J., Class, Nation and Identity: the Anthropology of Political Movements, Sterling,
Virginia: Pluto Press London, 2003.
Political movements across the world have such diverse characteristics and aims that it is difficult
to examine them as a collective group. Movements that are class-based are usually portrayed as
formed by economic categories of people driven by material interests. By contrast the study of
ethnic or nationalist movements has concentrated on the complexities of identity formation within
culturally defined groups driven by strong passions. In this unusual book, Jeff Pratt argues for the
need to set up a new analytical framework that extends the study of identity formation, and the
ethnographic analysis of economic and social processes, to all political movements. Setting up a
new analytical framework, he argues that political processes involve two linked components: a
“discourse” (an identity narrative which positions us within social history) and a “movement” (the
process of organization whereby local social divisions are transformed by their incorporation into
a wider movement). He illustrates his arguments with a vivid mix of case studies from across the
last century including Basque nationalism, Andalusian anarchism, Italian communism, the break32
up of Yugoslavia, to the ‘newer’ political movements in Europe, in French Occitania and the
Italian Lega Nord.
Prieto, N., Beautiful Flowers of the Maquiladoras, Austin: University of Texas Press, 1997.
Published originally as La flor mas bella de la maquiladora, this beautifully written book is based
on interviews the author conducted with more than fifty Mexican women who work in the
assembly plants along the U.S.-Mexico border. A descriptive analytic study conducted in the late
1970s, the book uses compelling testimonials to detail the struggles these women face. The
experiences of women in maquiladoras are attracting increasing attention from scholars,
especially in the context of ongoing Mexican migration to the country’s northern frontier and in
light of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This book is among the earliest
accounts of the physical and psychological toll exacted from the women who labour in these
plants. Iglesias Prieto captures the idioms of these working women so that they emerge as
dynamic individuals, young and articulate personalities, inexorably engaged in the daily struggle
to change the fundamental conditions of their exploitation.
Randall L. (ed.), Changing Structure of Mexico, Armonk, NY: M.E Sharpe, 2006.
This work provides a guide to Mexico’s political, social and economic issues. It offers coverage
of events leading up to NAFTA as well as discussions on the political structure of Mexico and its
implications for the future, including relations with the United States.
Re Cruz, A., The Two Milpas of Chan Kom: Scenarios of Maya Village Life, Albany: SUNY
P, 1996.
Chan Kom is a Maya community in the Yucatan peninsula that is currently undergoing a process
of transformation due to increasing migration to Cancun, Mexico. The author demonstrates the
significance of the Mayas’ socioeconomic and ideological strategies to adapt to the changes
brought about by this migration.
Re Cruz, A., “The Thousand and One Face of Cancún”, in Urban Anthropology 25, 1996:
The paper analyses the tourism phenomenon in Cancun, Mexico. The focus is on the actors who
construct the landscape of Cancun: the international tourists, the Mexican entrepreneurs living in
the city, and the mass of migrants living in the barrios. The traditional view of evaluating Maya
involvement in “modernization” processes is challenged by undertaking an anthropological
analysis of the active role of Maya migrants in the construction of Cancun’s human geography.
At the same time, this anthropological enterprise identifies the need to consider Cancun as part of
Chan Kom, in order to understand the current ideological debate on Maya identity which has
emerged in the political and everyday arena of community’s life. The blurring borders between
the rural Chan Kom and the urban Cancun that this study uncovers, coupled with the hidden
borders of Cancun’s geography, reveals a multifaceted Cancun.
Redfield, R., The Folk Culture of Yucatan, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1941.
Robert Redfield, an American anthropologist, carried out early in his career a study of Tepoztlan,
an Aztec community near Mexico City. This led to his first position at the Carnegie Institution in
Washington, D.C. During the next 16 years he carried out research in Yucatan and Guatemala.
Based on Henry Sumner Maine’s contrast between status and contract, and on Ferdinand
Tonnie’s contrast between Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft, he developed a set of ideas about folk
culture, little communities, and Little and Great Traditions that have been enormously influential.
In 1927 he joined the faculty of the University of Chicago, where he was dean of the social
science division from 1934 to 1946.
Reed, N., The Caste War of Yucatan, Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 1964.
This is the classic account of one of the most dramatic episodes in Mexican history-the revolt of
the Maya Indians of Yucatán against their white and mestizo oppressors that began in 1847.
Within a year, the Maya rebels had almost succeeded in driving their oppressors from the
peninsula; by 1855, when the major battles ended, the war had killed or put to flight almost half
of the population of Yucatán. A new religion built around a Speaking Cross supported their
independence for over fifty years, and that religion survived the eventual Maya defeat and
continues today. This revised edition is based on further research in the archives and in the field,
and draws on the research by a new generation of scholars who have laboured since the book’s
original publication 36 years ago. One of the most significant results of this research is that it has
put a human face on much that had heretofore been treated as semi-mythical.
Ruby, J., Picturing Culture: Explorations of Film and Anthropology, Chicago: University of
Chicago Press, 2000.
Here, Jay Ruby - a founder of visual anthropology - distils his thirty-year exploration of the
relationship of film and anthropology. Spurred by a conviction that the ideal of an anthropological
cinema has not even remotely begun to be realized, Ruby argues that ethnographic filmmakers
should generate a set of critical standards analogous to those for written ethnographies. Cinematic
artistry and the desire to entertain, he argues, can eclipse the original intention, which is to
provide an anthropological representation of the subjects. The book begins with analyses of key
filmmakers (Robert Flaherty, Robert Garner, and Tim Asch) who have striven to generate
profound statements about human behaviour on film. Ruby then discusses the idea of research
film, Eric Michaels and indigenous media, the ethics of representation, the nature of ethnography,
anthropological knowledge, and film and lays the groundwork for a critical approach to the field
that borrows selectively from film, communication, media, and cultural studies. Witty and
original, yet intensely theoretical, this collection is a major contribution to the field of visual
Sachs, W., (ed.), The Development Dictionary: A Guide to Knowledge as Power, New Jersey:
Zed Books, 1992.
In this pioneering collection, some of the world’s most eminent critics of development review the
key concepts of the development discourse in the post-war era. Each essay examines one concept
from a historical and anthropological point of view and highlights its particular bias. Exposing
their historical obsolescence and intellectual sterility, the authors call for a bidding farewell to the
whole Eurocentric development idea. This is urgently needed, they argue, in order to liberate
people’s minds - in both North and South - for bold responses to the environmental and ethical
challenges now confronting humanity. These essays are an invitation to experts, grassroots
movements and students of development to recognize the tainted glasses they put on whenever
they participate in the development discourse.
Saldaña-Portillo, M. J., The Revolutionary Imagination in the Americas and the Age of
Development, Durham, NC, and London: Duke University Press, 2003.
In The Revolutionary Imagination in the Americas and the Age of Development, María Josefina
Saldaña-Portillo boldly argues that crucial twentieth-century revolutionary challenges to
colonialism and capitalism in the Americas have failed to resist - and in fact have been
constitutively related to - the very developmentalist narratives that have justified and naturalized
postwar capitalism. Saldaña-Portillo brings the critique of development discourse to bear on such
exemplars of revolutionary and resistant political thought and practice as Ernesto “Che” Guevara,
Malcolm X, the Sandinista government of Nicaragua, and the Guatemalan guerrilla resistance.
She suggests that for each of these, developmentalist constructions frame the struggle as a heroic
movement from unconsciousness to consciousness, from a childlike backwardness toward a
disciplined and self-aware maturity. Reading governmental reports, memos, and policies,
Saldaña-Portillo traces the arc of development narratives from its beginnings in the 1944 Bretton
Woods conference through its apex during Robert S. McNamara's reign at the World Bank
(1968–1981). She compares these narratives with models of subjectivity and agency embedded in
the autobiographical texts of three revolutionary icons of the 1960s and 1970s - those of Che
Guevara, Guatemalan insurgent Mario Payeras, and Malcolm X - and the agricultural policy of
the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN). Saldaña-Portillo highlights a shared paradigm
of a masculinist transformation of the individual requiring the “transcendence” of ethnic
particularity for the good of the nation. While she argues that this model of progress often
alienated the very communities targeted by the revolutionaries, she shows how contemporary
insurgents such as Rigoberta Menchú, the Zapatista movement, and queer Aztlán have taken up
the radicalism of their predecessors to retheorize revolutionary subjectivity for the twenty-first
Salzinger, L., “From high heels to swathed bodies: Gendered meanings under production in
Mexico’s export processing zone”, in Feminist Studies 23, 1997: 549-574.
In recent decades, young, Third World women have emerged as transnational capital’s
paradigmatic workers. Managerial manifestos recast women’s “natural” affinity for the home as a
transferable set of skills and dispositions. These then crystallize into “docility” and “dexterity”,
terms that go on to have autonomous effects as “labour force requirements” for assembly workers
internationally. In this process, men have been redefined as nonworkers-lazy, demanding, and
unreliable. This public narrative of home-grown sex differences provides a backdrop to the
constitution of localized gendered meanings in export factories throughout the Third World. This
article explores the constitution of gendered meanings in a set of three workplaces, all located in
Ciudad Juarez and drawing on the same young, immigrant, North Mexican work force.
Salzinger, L., Genders in Production: Making Workers in Mexico’s Global Factories,
Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003.
The title of this book has a double resonance: it refers to the ways that factories on the U.S.Mexican border both structure gendered labour forces and, in so doing, produce gender itself.
Through case studies of employment and management in four different factories, Salzinger
beautifully demonstrates the variability and flexibility of concepts of masculinity and femininity,
the fact that they are context-dependent performative behaviours. The ethnographically based
empirical data provided, as well as the sophisticated mastery of theory, make this book an
unusually rich contribution to the fields of international labour and gender studies. Salzinger
brilliantly traces the specificities, variability, and contingencies in the emergence of gendered
subjects across different production environments, moving from femininity as attribute to
femininity as generative. In so doing she launches a new phase in the study of women employed
in offshore production, with significant implications for women in factories generally.
Schechner, R., Between Theatre and Anthropology, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania
Press, 1985.
In performances by Euro-Americans, Afro-Americans, Native Americans, and Asians, Richard
Schechner has examined carefully the details of performative behaviour and has developed
models of the performance process useful not only to persons in the arts but to anthropologists,
play theorists, and others fascinated (but perhaps terrified) by the multichannel realities of the
postmodern world. Schechner argues that in failing to see the structure of the whole theatrical
process, anthropologists in particular have neglected close analogies between performance
behaviour and ritual. The way performances are created - in training, workshops, and rehearsals is the key paradigm for social process.
Schechner, R., Performance Studies: An Introduction, London and New York: Routledge,
The publication of Performance Studies: An Introduction was a defining moment for the field.
Richard Schechner’s pioneering textbook provides a lively and accessible overview of the full
range of performance for undergraduates at all levels and beginning graduate students in
performance studies, theatre, performing arts, and cultural studies. Among the topics discussed
are the performing arts and popular entertainments, rituals, play and games, and the performances
of everyday life. Supporting examples and ideas are drawn from the social sciences, performing
arts, poststructuralism, ritual theory, ethology, philosophy, and aesthetics.
Shorris, E., The Life and Times of Mexico, W.W. Norton and Company, 2006.
The Life and Times of Mexico is a grand narrative driven by 3,000 years of history: the Indian
world, the Spanish invasion, Independence, the 1910 Revolution, the tragic lives of workers in
assembly plants along the border, and the experiences of millions of Mexicans who live in the
United States. Mexico is seen here as if it were a person, but in the Aztec way; the mind, the
heart, the winds of life; and on every page there are portraits and stories: artists, shamans,
teachers, a young Maya political leader; the rich few and the many poor. Earl Shorris is ingenious
at finding ways to tell this story: prostitutes in the Plaza Loreto launch the discussion of
economics; we are taken inside two crucial elections as Mexico struggles toward democracy; we
watch the creation of a popular “telenovela” and meet the country’s greatest living intellectual.
The result is a work of magnificent scope and profound insight into the divided soul of Mexico.
Skelton, T. and Allen T., (eds.), Culture and Global Change, London: Routledge, 1999-2000.
Culture and Global Change presents a comprehensive introduction to the cultural aspects of third
world development. It contains 25 chapters from leading writers in the field who each explore a
particular aspect of “culture” and the significance and meaning of cultural issues for different
people in throughout the contemporary world. With chapters dealing with the importance of
“Third World” cultures but also with changes in Russia, Japan, the USA and the UK, this book
considers the relationship between culture and development within a truly global context.
Sklair, L., Assembling for Development: The Maquila Industry in Mexico and the United
States, New York: Taylor & Francis, 2011.
First published in 1989, this book focuses upon the phenomenon of export-led industrialisation
fuelled by foreign investment and technology. He concentrates on Mexico, where US companies
have been taking advantage of inexpensive labour to establish “maquila” factories that assemble
US parts for export. Through this detailed study of the maquila industry, Sklair charts the
progress from the political imperialism of colonial days to the economic imperialism of today.
Stoller, J. and P., The Cinematic Griot: The Ethnography of Jean Rouch, Chicago: University
of Chicago Press, 1992.
The most prolific ethnographic filmmaker in the world, a pioneer of cinéma vérité and one of the
earliest ethnographers of African societies, Jean Rouch (1917-) remains a controversial and often
misunderstood figure in histories of anthropology and film. By examining Rouch’s neglected
ethnographic writings, Paul Stoller seeks to clarify the filmmaker’s true place in anthropology.
A brief account of Rouch’s background, revealing the ethnographic foundations and intellectual
assumptions underlying his fieldwork among the Songhay of Niger in the 1940s and 1950s, sets
the stage for his emergence as a cinematic griot, a peripatetic bard who “recites” the story of a
people through provocative imagery. Against this backdrop, Stoller considers Rouch’s writings
on Songhay history, myth, magic and possession, migration, and social change. By analyzing in
depth some of Rouch’s most important films and assessing Rouch’s ethnography in terms of his
own expertise in Songhay culture, Stoller demonstrates the inner connection between these two
modes of representation. Stoller, who has done more fieldwork among the Songhay than anyone
other than Rouch himself, here gives the first full account of Rouch the griot, whose own story
scintillates with important implications for anthropology, ethnography, African studies, and film.
Sullivan, P., Unfinished Conversations: Mayas and foreigners between two wars, New York:
Random House, 1992.
From the time of the Caste Wars of 1848 several groups of Yucatan Mayas have openly
challenged Mexican claims to their territory; like their ancestors, they foretell a new beginning,
not too far in the future, possibly through war. Sullivan’s absorbing account of these rebel Mayas
picks up the story of the Spanish conquest where Nancy Farriss ended her recent Maya Society
Under Colonial Rule (LJ 8/84). Surviving correspondence, mostly between anthropologist
Sylvanus Morely and Mayan Captain Cituk and Lieutenant Zuluub, tells a compelling tale from
both sides about the post-Columbian encounter between Native Americans and European
intruders. Sullivan skillfully weaves this archival data with varied strands of scholarship,
including his own anthropological field work, into one of the best books in recent years on the
clash of Western and Indian cultures. Scholarly but highly readable, this book should circulate
well in both public and university libraries.
Tiano, S., “Maquiladora Women: a New Category of Workers?”, in Women Working and
Global Restructuring, K. Ward (ed.), New York: ILR Press, Cornell University.
In this essay on maquiladora women, Susan Tiano challenges the validity of the “conventional
thesis”. The argument of this thesis is that since men are the breadwinners, unemployment is
primarily a men problem. A related argument is presented by the “new-category-of-worker
thesis” which assumes that the maquiladoras have mobilized a new category of workers who
would not otherwise work for wages. In challenging these two theses, Tiano refines the
arguments made in earlier works.
Turner, V., From Ritual to Theatre: The Human Seriousness of Play, New York: PAJ, 1982.
How is social action related to aesthetics, and anthropology to theatre? What is the meaning of
such concepts as “work,” “play”, “liminal,” and “flow”? In this highly influential book, Turner
elaborates on ritual and theatre, persona and individual, role-playing and performing, taking
examples from American, European, and African societies for a greater understanding of culture
and its symbols.
Vila, P., Ethnography at the Border, Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press,
For cultural theorists, “the border” has proven a fluid and hybrid space profitably explored for
new ideas about identity, gender, and ethnicity. But for those who occupy this region, the border
is not merely a metaphor, but a lived experience, yielding immediate, often pressing ambiguities,
problems, and perils. Focusing on a particular area of the U.S.-Mexico border, Ciudad Juarez-El
Paso, Ethnography at the Border brings out the complexity of the border experience through the
voices of the diverse people who inhabit the region. In a series of ethnographic essays that
investigate specific aspects of border existence, the contributors provide rich and detailed insights
into such topics as life in illegal subdivisions, called colonias, in Texas; the experience of actually
crossing the bridge between El Paso and Ciudad Juarez; the impact of Operation Blockade on
illegal crossings; the controversy surrounding the El Paso Border Patrol’s proposal for a border
wall in Sunland Park; the paradoxes of making “American products” using Mexican workers; and
the relevance of grassroots efforts, environmental problems, and the multiple meanings of
“Mexican.” The final chapter offers a critique of the all too metaphorical border often depicted by
cultural studies. Painstakingly conveying how the border looks and feels to those on both sides,
Ethnography at the Border transmutes statistics on migration, labour markets, and economic
trends-as well as conceptualizations of cross-cultural identities-into the experience, the
observations, and the troubling lessons of border life.
Warren, K. B., Indigenous Movements and Their Critics: Pan-Mayanism and Ethnic
Resurgence in Guatemala, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1998.
In this first book-length treatment of Maya intellectuals in national and community affairs in
Guatemala, Kay Warren presents an ethnographic account of Pan-Maya cultural activism through
the voices, writings, and actions of its participants. Challenging the belief that indigenous
movements emerge as isolated, politically unified fronts, she shows that Pan-Mayanism reflects
diverse local, national, and international influences. She explores the movement's attempts to
interweave these varied strands into political programs to promote human and cultural rights for
Guatemala’s indigenous majority and also examines the movement’s many domestic and foreign
critics. The book focuses on the years of Guatemala’s peace process (1987--1996). After the
previous ten years of national war and state repression, the Maya movement re-emerged into
public view to press for institutional reform in the schools and courts and for the officialization of
a “multicultural, ethnically plural, and multilingual” national culture. In particular, Warren
examines a group of well-known Mayanist antiracism activists - among them, Demetrio Cojt!,
Martin Chacach, Enrique Sam Colop, Victor Montejo, members of Oxlajuuj Keej Maya' Ajtz'iib',
and grassroots intellectuals in the community of San Andres - to show what is at stake for them
personally and how they have worked to promote the revitalization of Maya language and culture.
Pan-Mayanism’s critics question its tactics, see it as threatening their own achievements, or even
as dangerously polarizing national society. This book highlights the crucial role that Mayanist
intellectuals have come to play in charting paths to multicultural democracy in Guatemala and in
creating a new parallel middle class.
Watanabe, J. M., and Fischer, E. F., “Introduction: Emergent Anthropologies and
Pluricultural Ethnography in Two Postcolonial Nations”, In Pluralizing Ethnography:
Comparison and Representation in Maya Cultures, Histories, and Identities, Watanabe and
Fisher (eds.), Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research Press, 2004: 3-33.
This volume brings together eight Maya specialists and a prominent anthropological theorist as
discussant to assess the contrasting historical circumstances and emerging cultural futures of
Maya in Mexico and Guatemala. Rather than presume a romanticized, timeless Maya culture-or
the globalized predicaments of transnationalized Maya imaginings-this seminar took its cue from
contemporary Maya cultural activists who derive their enduring sense of Mayan-ness from a
historical consciousness of five hundred years of cultural resilience. The contributors evaluate the
history of Maya peoples and Maya anthropology by examining language, religion, political
attitudes and activism, ethnographic traditions, and the relationship between economic change,
migration, and cultural identity. In comparing Maya peoples across Mexico and Guatemala, the
contributors’ emphasis on culture recovers intermediate linkages between the personal and the
political, the local and the global. Their work enable a controlled cross-cultural comparison across
national boundaries and histories that in turn illuminate the articulation between locally
constructed meanings and global transformations.
Weintraub, S., Financial Decision-Making in Mexico, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: University
of Pittsburgh Press, 2000.
Sidney Weintraub provides an analysis of the economic and political events taking place in
Mexico, the decisions made to deal with these events, and the reactions of international financial
actors outside of Mexico, thus providing the first integrated analysis of the Mexican market.
Wilson, T. D., “Economic and Social Impacts of Tourism in Mexico”, Latin American
Perspectives 35, 2008: 37-52.
In developing its tourist industry, the Mexican government had three main goals: earning foreign
exchange, creating employment, and diverting internal migration toward tourism development
poles. Statistics on employment and in-migration to Mazatlán, Puerto Vallarta, Cancún, and Los
Cabos show that it has been relatively successful in achieving these goals. However, Mexico has
increased its dependency on loans, foreign capital, and foreign patronage and has imposed costs
on the working class employed in low-waged and precarious tourist jobs, including de facto social
and economic apartheid.