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The Romance of Democracy: Compliant Defiance in Contemporary Mexico

 
 
 
 
The Romance of Democracy: Compliant Defiance in Contemporary Mexico
Author: Matthew C. Gutmann
ISBN 13: 9780520235281
ISBN 10: 520235282
Edition: N/A
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: 2002-10-07
Format: Paperback
Pages: 312
List Price: $34.95
 
 

"Gutmann's supremely engaging ethnographic writing underpins a rich analysis of what working class Mexicans are doing and thinking when they participate, or fail to participate, in social movements, party politics and the electoral process. An exemplary demonstration of how anthropological research can enrich the study of political life."—John Gledhill, Max Gluckman Professor of Social Anthropology and author of Power and Its Disguises: Anthropological Perspectives on Politics

"Writing with a poet's ear for spoken language, a novelist's vision of story line and plot, a historian's sense of time and period, and, most of all, an ethnographer's vision of people and place, Gutmann gives us a rich, nuanced slice of contemporary Mexico, as he has lived it and absorbed it. From his vantage point in a colonia popular he unpacks Mexican national culture and politics as they are lived and expressed in daily life. Steering between the swamps of cynicism and utopianism he presents a welcomed and realistic portrait of contemporary Mexico and its contradictions."—Michael Kearney, author of Reconceptualizing the Peasantry: Anthropology in Global Perspective

"This ethnographic study of popular politics is exceedingly lively and valuable. Gutmann demonstrates the usefulness of both top-down and bottom-up studies that, when taken together, give us the most complete and meaningful picture possible."—Judith Adler Hellman, author of Mexican Lives

"A new book by Matt Gutmann is a gift. He writes of Oscar Lewis and agency resistance and politics, and tacos and beer, with the same fervor and understanding. This is ethnography as a poetry of life. I am delighted to see Gutmann return to Santo Domingo and explore what democracy means in the colonia. I just hope I get to go with him next time."—Miguel Centeno, author of Blood and Debt: War and the Nation-State in Latin America

"The appearance of this insightful and penetrating book could not have been better timed. Just when Mexico struggles to create an authentic democracy, Gutmann analyzes with great skill the fabric of Mexican social life that is being transformed."—Thomas Skidmore, co-author of Modern Latin America

"The Romance of Democracy offers wonderfully accessible neighborhood accounts of Mexican politics and popular nationalism in the age of NAFTA. This book, Gutmann's second on the working poor of Santo Domingo in Mexico City, brings to life individual expressions of ambivalence toward gringolandia to the north and weary cynicism about the possibility of real political change at home. Throughout, Gutmann interweaves reappraisals of globalization, democracy, the culture of poverty, and agency and resistance with his intimate conversations on politics and daily life in Santo Domingo."—Kay Warren, co-editor, Ethnography in Unstable Places: Everyday Lives in Contexts of Dramatic Political Change and
Indigenous Movements, Self-Representation, and the State

Kay Warren

The Romance of Democracy offers wonderfully accessible neighborhood accounts of Mexican politics and popular nationalism in the age of NAFTA. This book, Gutmann's second on the working poor of Santo Domingo in Mexico City, brings to life individual expressions of ambivalence toward gringolandia to the north and weary cynicism about the possibility of real political change at home. Throughout, Gutmann interweaves reappraisals of globalization, democracy, the culture of poverty, and agency and resistance with his intimate conversations on politics and daily life in Santo Domingo.