Everyday Forms of State Formation

Revolution and the Negotiation of Rule in Modern Mexico

Everyday Forms of State Formation

Book Pages: 456 Illustrations: 3 maps Published: June 1994

Anthropology > Cultural Anthropology, History > Latin American History, Latin American Studies > Mexico

Everyday Forms of State Formation is the first book to systematically examine the relationship between popular cultures and state formation in revolutionary and post-revolutionary Mexico. While most accounts have emphasized either the role of peasants and peasant rebellions or that of state formation in Mexico’s past, these original essays reveal the state’s day-to-day engagement with grassroots society by examining popular cultures and forms of the state simultaneously and in relation to one another.
Structured in the form of a dialogue between a distinguished array of Mexicanists and comparative social theorists, this volume boldly reassesses past analyses of the Mexican revolution and suggests new directions for future study. Showcasing a wealth of original archival and ethnographic research, this collection provides a new and deeper understanding of Mexico’s revolutionary experience. It also speaks more broadly to a problem of extraordinary contemporary relevance: the manner in which local societies and self-proclaimed "revolutionary" states are articulated historically. The result is a unique collection bridging social history, anthropology, historical sociology, and cultural studies in its formulation of new approaches for rethinking the multifaceted relationship between power, culture, and resistance.

Contributors. Ana María Alonso, Armando Bartra, Marjorie Becker, Barry Carr, Philip Corrigan, Romana Falcón, Gilbert M. Joseph, Alan Knight, Florencia E. Mallon, Daniel Nugent, Elsie Rockwell, William Roseberry, Jan Rus, Derek Sayer, James C. Scott


“[A]n avatar of a new wave of political history of Mexico. . . . [T]he essays in this collection hang together well. . . . Editors Joseph and Nugent set the general tone for Everyday Forms of State Formation with their sophisticated discussion of popular culture as resistance to state-formation projects.” — Eric Van Young , Latin American Research Review

“Joseph and Nugent have constructed a new and original framework for understanding the formation of the Mexican state in relation to the complex social and political cultures that have supported or challenged it. This is a single, well-integrated volume. Its perspective will go a long way toward challenging conventional thinking about the modern Mexican state and the revolutions that engendered and accompanied it.” — Claude A. Comerleau, Hispanic American Historical Review

“What is most impressive about this volume is the way each author contributes so precisely to a larger scholarly enterprise which successfully weds theory with practice.” — , British Bulletin of Publications

"The essays in Everyday Forms of State Formation brilliantly shift the understanding of the Mexican Revolution to a new analytical framework that highlights the mediations between power and everyday forms of resistance and organization. Drawing on new theoretical approaches to the processes of hegemony, the authors go beyond analyses that posit either a reified oppressive state or a homogenized, often romanticized notion of ‘the people’ as heroic subjects of revolutionary change." — George Yúdice, Hunter College

"This book represents something eminently new and original. I believe it will have a great impact and draw Mexico and its evolution into the general discussion of state formation, popular culture and revolution from which it has been significantly absent for a long time." — Friedrich Katz, University of Chicago


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Gilbert M. Joseph is Professor of History and Chair of the Council of Latin American Studies at Yale University. He is the author of Revolution From Without: Yucatán, Mexico, and the United States, also published by Duke University Press.

Daniel Nugent teaches anthropology and Latin American studies at the University of Arizona and is a managing editor of the Journal of Historical Sociology.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Foreword vii

Preface xiii

State Formation xvii

Popular Culture and State Formation in Revolutionary Mexico / Gilbert M. Joseph and Daniel Nugent 3

Weapons and Arches in the Mexican Revolutionary Landscape / Alan Knight 24

Reflections on the Ruins: Everyday Forms of State Formation in Nineteenth-Century Mexico / Florencia E. Mallon 69

Force and the Search for Consent: The Role of the Jefaturas Politicas of Coahuila in National State Formation / Romana Falcon 107

Rethinking Mexican Revolutionary Mobilization; Yucatan's Seasons of Upheaval, 1909–1930 / Gilbert M. Joseph 135

Schools of the Revolution: Enacting and Consenting State Forms in Tlaxcala, 1910–1930 / Elsie Rockwell 170

Multiple Selective Traditions in Agrarian Reform and Agrarian Struggle: Popular Culture and State Formation in the Ejido of Namiquipa Chihuahua / Daniel Nugent and Ana Maria Alonso 209

Torching La Purisima, Dancing at the ALtar: The Construction of Revolutionary Hegemony in Michoacan, 1934-1940/ Marjorie Becker 247

The "Comunidad Recolucionaria Instituctional": The Subversion of Native Government in Highland CHiapas, 1936–1968 / Jan Rus 265

The Seduction of the Innocents: The First Tumultuous Moments of Mass Literacy in Postrevolutionary Mexico / Armando Bartra 301

The Fate of the Vanguard under a Revolutionary State: Marxism Contribution to the Construction of the Great Arch / Barry Carr 326

Hegemony and the Language of Contention / William Roseberry 355

Everyday Forms of State Formation: Some Dissident Remarks on "Hegemony" / Derek Sayer 367

Bibliography 379

Index 413

Contributors 429
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-1467-7 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-1452-3
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