The Secret History of Gender: Women, Men, and Power in Late Colonial Mexico

The Secret History of Gender: Women, Men, and Power in Late Colonial Mexico

by Steve J. Stern
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

In this study of gender relations in late colonial Mexico (ca. 1760-1821), Steve Stern analyzes the historical connections between gender, power, and politics in the lives of peasants, Indians, and other marginalized peoples. Through vignettes of everyday life, he challenges assumptions about gender relations and political culture in a patriarchal society. He also… See more details below

Overview

In this study of gender relations in late colonial Mexico (ca. 1760-1821), Steve Stern analyzes the historical connections between gender, power, and politics in the lives of peasants, Indians, and other marginalized peoples. Through vignettes of everyday life, he challenges assumptions about gender relations and political culture in a patriarchal society. He also reflects on continuity and change between late colonial times and the present and suggests a paradigm for understanding similar struggles over gender rights in Old Regime societies in Europe and the Americas.

Stern pursues three major arguments. First, he demonstrates that non-elite women and men developed contending models of legitimate gender authority and that these differences sparked bitter struggles over gender right and obligation. Second, he reveals connections, in language and social dynamics, between disputes over legitimate authority in domestic and familial matters and disputes in the arenas of community and state power. The result is a fresh interpretation of the gendered dynamics of peasant politics, community, and riot. Third, Stern examines regional and ethnocultural variation and finds that his analysis transcends particular locales and ethnic subgroupings within Mexico. The historical arguments and conceptual sweep of Stern's book will inform not only students of Mexico and Latin America but also students of gender in the West and other world regions.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807864807
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
11/09/2000
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
496
File size:
3 MB

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
One of the most significant contributions to Latin American and women's history published in the past two decades.—Western Historical Quarterly

The Secret History of Gender is notable for the density and insight of its argument, its enormously broad theoretical reach, its thoughtfulness, its empathic quality, and the consummate skill with which Stern sets forth his highly ethnographic, detailed empirical material. This is a truly pathbreaking book.—Eric Van Young, University of California, San Diego

This is a complex book well worth reading, and Stern provides important insights that scholars may debate for some time in the future.—Journal of Social History

Theoretically sophisticated and empirically rich. . . . Stern's study illuminates the complex relationship between colonialism and patriarchalism.—Latin American Research Review

An elegant and convincing analysis of gender relations.—Colonial Latin American Historical Review

A masterful effort to uncover the embeddedness of gender in the history and politics of Mexico. . . . [Stern] weaves a pattern that is both seamless and seamed, contradictory and complementary.—Donna Guy, University of Arizona

It would be a pity if The Secret History of Gender, a state-of-the-art social history of late colonial Mexican patriarchy, were to become the secret treasure of Latin American scholars. Inverting the metropolitan gaze, Steve Stern plumbs Mexican archival sources to derive a conceptual apparatus for understanding the everyday workings of patriarchal politics under prefeminist and nonfeminist historical settings in the West. The result is a brilliant contribution to the comparative study of gender, power, and popular culture everywhere. Share the secret!—Judith Stacey, University of California, Davis

Prodigiously researched, engagingly written, and empowering in its analysis, Stern's book will reshape the way that Latin Americanists and others conceptualize the history of peasant and plebeian politics, community, the family, and gender struggle. I know of no other colleague who is at once so theoretically broad, yet has such an eye for illustrating his synoptic vision with evocative and poignant human episodes.—Gilbert M. Joseph, Yale University

A remarkable work, theorizing patriarchy as ever-changing rather than static. It stands as a social history which couples conceptual power with quantitative data, qualitative assertions and glimpses into the everyday world of colonial Mexico.—Canadians Journal of Latin American/Caribbean Studies

This is a theoretically sophisticated and empirically rich study of gender and popular political culture in colonial Mexico. . . . It illuminates in a variety of ways the complex relationship between colonialism and patriarchalism.—American Historical Review

13

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >