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Oaxaca de Juárez

Talk - The Political Economy Of Indigenous Peasant Communities Of Oaxaca (Part 2)

This is a Welte Institute of Oaxaca Presentation. 50% of the proceeds will go to support the mission of the Welte Institute. This is part of a series of three lectures. Sign up separately for each. It is not necessary to attend all three.

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Time & Location

Time is TBD

Oaxaca de Juárez, Calle de José María Pino Suárez 519, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico

About the event

This series of three lectures will address the economic and political underpinnings of social and cultural life in the indigenous peasant communities of Oaxaca. Ideal models along with their variations will be explored with attention given to intra-community and extra-community relations in historical context. The first two lectures will emphasize “traditional” systems. The third lecture will focus on continuity and change deriving from the pressures of ever increasing of economic and cultural globalization.

Wednesday, January 31 - The indigenous community

The two most important units of social identity and interaction among rural indigenous peoples are the family/household and the community. In this second lecture we will examine the traditional political organization and operation of indigenous corporate communities. We will explore aspects such as the civil-religious hierarchy, traditional versus western concepts of “democracy” and citizenship, significance of “tequio” and community service, the importance of territory and land tenure, and the contradictions of egalitarianism and stratification. We will also look at the historical relationships between the community and higher political authority, and at the darker dimension of intra-community and extra-community factionalism, conflict, and violence.


Ronald Waterbury (PhD UCLA) is secretary of the Welte Institute for Oaxacan Studies and emeritus professor of anthropology at Queens College of the City University of New York where he taught for over 30 years. He has carried out research in Oaxaca off and on since 1964, focusing on economy and politics of indigenous communities. Since retiring from teaching in 2000, Ron and his wife, Carole Turkenik, have made Oaxaca their home.


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