Migration, Mujercitas, and Medicine Men: Living in Urban Mexico / Edition 1

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Overview

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 neighborhood of Guadalajara. Migration, Mujercitas, and Medicine Men insightfully portrays the personal experiences of the neighborhood'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.

Author Biography: Valentina Napolitano is a Research Officer at the Centre of Latin American Studies, University of Cambridge, and a Research Fellow at Clare Hall College, University of Cambridge.

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Editorial Reviews

Michael Kearney
Standing on the shoulders of previous ethnographers of everyday life in different Mexicos, Napolitano sees yet farther into the interstices and intricacies of the quotidian, its social forms, and how it is experienced and expressed. Just as a glass prism refracts white light into a spectrum of gradated colors, so is this book a dazzling refraction of a wide spectrum of feelings, identities, and social forms in a neighborhood situated between tradition and modernity, between rural and urban, and between poverty and affluence.
Matthew C. Gutmann
Throughout this theoretically adept ethnography, Valentina Napolitano explores the embodied experiences of women and men to highlight their humanity. Covering topics as diverse as Christian Base Communities and alternative medicine, migration, and growing up female in Guadalajara, Migration, Mujercitas, and Medicine Men provides insights and analysis sure to provoke discussion in medical anthropology and Latin American studies.
Judith Adler Hellman
By providing rich detail on an 'ordinary' rather than an 'exotic' community in suburban Guadalajara, Napolitano offers a telling analysis of the transformative impact of urbanization, internal and international migration, social movement mobilization, and Liberation Theology on the formation of women's identity at different life stages.
Chris Kiefer
The ethnographic result of Napolitano's work is splendid-it gives one the fascinating sensation of zooming back and forth between intimate real time conversations with the people of Polanco and a wide angle view of the city and the region through recent history.
Donald S. Moore
Richly textured, enlivened, and analytically elegant, Napolitano's ethnography of the cultural politics of belonging in Guadalajara weaves a nuanced portrait of vernacular modernities out of migrant routes rather than essentialist roots. Focusing on cultural practices that are at once ensouled and embodied, she fuses phenomenology and political economy to map the materiality of affect shaping daily lives. Napolitano offers resources of hope-both for an analytics of emergence enacted through critical ethnography and for the situated struggles of subalterns whose structures of feeling she so vividly renders.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520233188
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 12/12/2002
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Lexile: 1450L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author


Valentina Napolitano is a Research Officer at the Centre of Latin American Studies, University of Cambridge, and a Research Fellow at Clare Hall College, University of Cambridge.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations
Preface
Introduction: Prisms of Belonging and Alternative Modernities 1
1 Internationalizing Region, Expanding City, Neighborhoods in Transition 17
2 Migration, Space, and Belonging 39
3 Religious Discourses and the Politics of Modernity 69
4 Medical Pluralism: Medicina Popular and Medicina Alternativa 96
5 Becoming a Mujercita: Rituals, Fiestas, and Religious Discourses 128
6 Neither Married, Widowed, Single, or Divorced: Gender Negotiation, Compliance, and Resistance 156
Epilogue 181
App. A Homepathic Principles 189
App. B Trees of Life and Death 191
Notes 195
Bibliography 217
Index 237
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