Catalogue


Becoming Maya : ethnicity and social inequality in Yucatan since 1500 /
Wolfgang Gabbert.
imprint
Tucson : University of Arizona Press, c2004.
description
xvii, 252 p.
ISBN
0816523169 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Tucson : University of Arizona Press, c2004.
isbn
0816523169 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
5100816
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Wolfgang Gabbert is currently Professor of Sociology at the University of Hanover, Germany.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Provides the best map for this confusing situation published to date."-- Humanities-Sozial-Und-Kulturgeschichte
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, February 2005
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
In Mexico's Yucatán peninsula,it is commonly held that the population consists of two ethnic communities: Maya Indians and descendants of Spanish conquerors. As a result, the history of the region is usually seen in terms of conflict between conquerors and conquered that too often ignores the complexity of interaction between these groups and the complex nature of identity within them. Yet despite this prevailing view, most speakers of the Yucatec Maya language reject being considered Indian and refuse to identify themselves as Maya. Wolfgang Gabbert maintains that this situation can be understood only by examining the sweeping procession of history in the region. In Becoming Maya,he has skillfully interwoven history and ethnography to trace 500 years of Yucatec history, covering colonial politics, the rise of plantations, nineteenth-century caste wars, and modern reforms-always with an eye toward the complexities of ethnic categorization. According to Gabbert, class has served as a self-defining category as much as ethnicity in the Yucatán, and although we think of caste wars as struggles between Mayas and Mexicans, he shows that each side possessed a sufficiently complex ethnic makeup to rule out such pat observations. Through this overview, Gabbert reveals that Maya ethnicity is upheld primarily by outsiders who simply assume that an ethnic Maya consciousness has always existed among the Maya-speaking people. Yet even language has been a misleading criterion, since many people not considered Indian are native speakers of Yucatec. By not taking ethnicity for granted, he demonstrates that the Maya-speaking population has never been a self-conscious community and that the criteria employed by others in categorizing Mayas has changed over time. Grounded in field studies and archival research and boasting an exhaustive bibliography, Becoming Mayais the first English-language study that examines the roles played by ethnicity and social inequality in Yucatán history. By revealing the highly nuanced complexities that underlie common stereotypes, it offers new insights not only into Mesoamerican peoples but also into the nature of interethnic relations in general.
Main Description
In Mexico's Yucatan peninsula,it is commonly held that the population consists of two ethnic communities: Maya Indians and descendants of Spanish conquerors. As a result, the history of the region is usually seen in terms of conflict between conquerors and conquered that too often ignores the complexity of interaction between these groups and the complex nature of identity within them. Yet despite this prevailing view, most speakers of the Yucatec Maya language reject being considered Indian and refuse to identify themselves as Maya. Wolfgang Gabbert maintains that this situation can be understood only by examining the sweeping procession of history in the region. In Becoming Maya,he has skillfully interwoven history and ethnography to trace 500 years of Yucatec history, covering colonial politics, the rise of plantations, nineteenth-century caste wars, and modern reforms--always with an eye toward the complexities of ethnic categorization. According to Gabbert, class has served as a self-defining category as much as ethnicity in the Yucatan, and although we think of caste wars as struggles between Mayas and Mexicans, he shows that each side possessed a sufficiently complex ethnic makeup to rule out such pat observations. Through this overview, Gabbert reveals that Maya ethnicity is upheld primarily by outsiders who simply assume that an ethnic Maya consciousness has always existed among the Maya-speaking people. Yet even language has been a misleading criterion, since many people not considered Indian are native speakers of Yucatec. By not taking ethnicity for granted, he demonstrates that the Maya-speaking population has never been a self-conscious community and that the criteria employed by others in categorizing Mayas has changed over time. Grounded in field studies and archival research and boasting an exhaustive bibliography, Becoming Mayais the first English-language study that examines the roles played by ethnicity and social inequality in Yucatan history. By revealing the highly nuanced complexities that underlie common stereotypes, it offers new insights not only into Mesoamerican peoples but also into the nature of interethnic relations in general.
Main Description
In Mexico's Yucatán peninsula, it is commonly held that the population consists of two ethnic communities: Maya Indians and descendants of Spanish conquerors. As a result, the history of the region is usually seen in terms of conflict between conquerors and conquered that too often ignores the complexity of interaction between these groups and the complex nature of identity within them. Yet despite this prevailing view, most speakers of the Yucatec Maya language reject being considered Indian and refuse to identify themselves as Maya. Wolfgang Gabbert maintains that this situation can be understood only by examining the sweeping procession of history in the region. In Becoming Maya, he has skillfully interwoven history and ethnography to trace 500 years of Yucatec history, covering colonial politics, the rise of plantations, nineteenth-century caste wars, and modern reforms-always with an eye toward the complexities of ethnic categorization. According to Gabbert, class has served as a self-defining category as much as ethnicity in the Yucatán, and although we think of caste wars as struggles between Mayas and Mexicans, he shows that each side possessed a sufficiently complex ethnic makeup to rule out such pat observations. Through this overview, Gabbert reveals that Maya ethnicity is upheld primarily by outsiders who simply assume that an ethnic Maya consciousness has always existed among the Maya-speaking people. Yet even language has been a misleading criterion, since many people not considered Indian are native speakers of Yucatec. By not taking ethnicity for granted, he demonstrates that the Maya-speaking population has never been a self-conscious community and that the criteria employed by others in categorizing Mayas has changed over time. Grounded in field studies and archival research and boasting an exhaustive bibliography, Becoming Maya is the first English-language study that examines the roles played by ethnicity and social inequality in Yucatán history. By revealing the highly nuanced complexities that underlie common stereotypes, it offers new insights not only into Mesoamerican peoples but also into the nature of interethnic relations in general.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: Ethnicity in Yucatan - Concepts and State of the Artp. xi
The Conquest of Yucatan and the Development of Colonial Rule, 1500-1821: Tribute Economy and Estate Stratificationp. 3
Conquest and Colonial Rulep. 5
Demography and Social Structurep. 16
Group Consciousnessp. 26
From Independence to Revolution, 1821-1910: The Caste War and the Development of a Monocrop Economyp. 37
Economic Developmentp. 39
The Caste Warp. 46
Social Inequality and Social Categoriesp. 60
From the Mexican Revolution to the Present: Revolution, Social Mobility, and Structural Violencep. 81
Economy and Politics since 1915p. 83
Ethnic Discourses, 1915-40p. 90
Education and Language Policies since the Revolutionp. 102
Social Categories and Status Symbolsp. 110
The Chenes Regionp. 126
Ethnicity and Social Inequality in Yucatan - a Summaryp. 154
Notesp. 163
Sources and Secondary Literaturep. 211
Indexp. 245
Table of Contents provided by Rittenhouse. All Rights Reserved.

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