Cultural Politics in Revolution: The Divine Cactus / Edition 1

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Overview


When Indian communities of Chiapas, Mexico, rose in armed rebellion in 1994, they spoke boldly of values, rights, identities, and expectations. Their language struck a chord for most Mexicans, for it was the cultural legacy of the Revolution of 1910. Of all the accomplishments of the Mexican Revolution, its cultural achievements were among its most important. The Revolution's cultural politics accounts in part for the relative political stability Mexico enjoyed from 1940 through 1993 and underlies much of the discourse accompanying the tumultuous transitions in that country today. To show the significance of this facet of the Revolution, Mary Kay Vaughan here analyzes the educational effort of the state during the 1930s, locating it within the broader sweep of Mexican history to illustrate how the government sought to nationalize and modernize rural society. Vaughan focuses on activities in rural schools, where central state policy makers, teachers, and people of the countryside came together to forge a national culture. She examines the cultural politics of schooling in four rural societies in the states of Sonora and Puebla that are representative of the peasant societies in revolutionary Mexico, and she shows how the state's program of socialist education became an arena for intense negotiations over power, culture, knowledge, rights, and gender practices. The real cultural revolution, Vaughan observes, lay not in the state's efforts at socialist education but in the dialogue between state and society that took place around this program. In the 1930s, rural communities carved out a space to preserve their local identities while the state succeeded in nurturing a multi-ethnic nationalism based on its promise of social justice and development. Vaughan brings to her analysis a comparative understanding of peasant politics and educational history, extensive interviews, and a detailed examination of national, regional, and local archives to create an evocative and informative study of Mexican politics and society during modern Mexico's formative years. Cultural Politics in Revolution clearly shows that only by expanding the social arena in which culture was constructed and contested can we understand the Mexican Revolution's real achievements.

"Innovative study of the cultural legacy of the Mexican Revolution, using the story of rural schools. Focuses on Puebla and Sonora and the attempt by the central government to implement socialist education and to advance its nationalist agenda. Stresses the importance of negotiation among national and local leaders, teachers and peasants"--Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 58.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816516766
  • Publisher: University of Arizona Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 262
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1 Introduction: The Cultural Politics of the Mexican Revolution 3
2 Revolutionary Cultural Policy: the Secretaria de Educacion Publica 25
3 Translating Cultural Policy: The Mobilization of Federal Teachers in Puebla and Sonora 47
4 "On the Blackboard, No Cow Ever Died": Campesino Duels With Schools in Revolutionary Tecamachalco 77
5 "Good Day, Pistol! Where Are You Taking That Teacher?" Socialist Education in Zacapoaxtla 107
6 "Educated by Bullets": The Yaquis of Sonora, the Mexican School, and the Mexican State 137
7 Weaving Fantasies of Modernity, Eating "Tortillas Filled With Faith": The Cultural Politics of Schooling in a Sonoran Immigrant Society 163
8 Conclusion: The School, Hegemony, and Civil Society 189
Notes 203
Bibliography 233
Index 253
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