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University of Texas Press
A Woman's Education in the Shadow of the Maquiladoras
This ethnographic case study provides a personal view of a maquiladora worker’s struggles with factory labor conditions, poverty, and violence as she journeys toward education, financial opportunity, and, ultimately, empowerment.
Much of what we currently know about the ancient Maya concerns the activities of the elites who ruled the societies and left records of their deeds carved on the monumental buildings and sculptures that remain as silent testimony to their power and status. But what do we know of the common folk who labored to build the temple complexes and palaces and grew the food that fed all of Maya society? This pathfinding book marshals a wide array of archaeological, ethnohistorical, and ethnographic evidence to offer the fullest understanding to date of the lifeways of ancient Maya commoners. Senior and emerging scholars contribute case studies that examine such aspects of commoner life as settlement patterns, household organization, and subsistence practices. Their reports cover most of the Maya area and the entire time span from Preclassic to Postclassic. This broad range of data helps resolve Maya commoners from a faceless mass into individual actors who successfully adapted to their social environment and who also held primary responsibility for producing the food and many other goods on which the whole Maya society depended.
From Primordial Sea to Public Space
Extensively illustrated with detailed site plans and photographs, this architectural history of the Mexican plaza reveals why this central public space has been the heart of the community from ancient Mesoamerican times until the present.
Otavalo Merchants and Musicians in the Global Arena
Native to a high valley in the Andes of Ecuador, the Otavalos are an indigenous people whose handcrafted textiles and traditional music are now sold in countries around the globe. Known as weavers and merchants since pre-Inca times, Otavalos today live and work in over thirty countries on six continents, while hosting more than 145,000 tourists annually at their Saturday market. In this ethnography of the globalization process, Lynn A. Meisch looks at how participation in the global economy has affected Otavalo identity and culture since the 1970s. Drawing on nearly thirty years of fieldwork, she covers many areas of Otavalo life, including the development of weaving and music as business enterprises, the increase in tourism to Otavalo, the diaspora of Otavalo merchants and musicians around the world, changing social relations at home, the growth of indigenous political power, and current debates within the Otavalo community over preserving cultural identity in the face of globalization and transnational migration. Refuting the belief that contact with the wider world inevitably destroys indigenous societies, Meisch demonstrates that Otavalos are preserving many features of their culture while adopting and adapting modern technologies and practices they find useful.
Authorship and Contemporary Hollywood
Through in-depth investigation of Soderbergh’s work in film, television, and video, as well as an extensive interview with the filmmaker, this book offers a new model of film authorship in the twenty-first century that emphasizes its fundamentally collaborative nature.
Latino Newcomers in the Rural Midwest
The sudden influx of significant numbers of Latinos to the rural Midwest stems from the recruitment of workers by food processing plants and small factories springing up in rural areas. Mostly they work at back-breaking jobs that local residents are not willing to take because of the low wages and few benefits. The region has become the scene of dramatic change involving major issues facing our country—the intertwining of ethnic differences, prejudice, and poverty; the social impact of a low-wage workforce resulting from corporate transformations; and public policy questions dealing with economic development, taxation, and welfare payments. In this thorough multidisciplinary study, the authors explore both sides of this ethnic divide and provide the first volume to focus comprehensively on Latinos in the region by linking demographic and qualitative analysis to describe what brings Latinos to the area and how they are being accommodated in their new communities. The fact is that many Midwestern communities would be losing population and facing a dearth of workers if not for Latino newcomers. This finding adds another layer of social and economic complexity to the region’ s changing place in the global economy. The authors look at how Latinos fit into an already fractured social landscape with tensions among townspeople, farmers, and others. The authors also reveal the optimism that lies in the opposition of many Anglos to ethnic prejudice and racism.