Political Economy of Indigenous Peasant Communities of Oaxaca Pt 1
Oaxaca Lending Library
Presented by Ronald Waterbury, PhD Emeritus Professor of Anthropology Queens College, City University of New York.
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.
Tuesday, January 25 -The social economy in indigenous peasant communities.
The household is the principal economic unit in all peasant economies. This lecture will focus on the household mode of production/consumption in Oaxacan indigenous communities. In doing so it will explore how households obtain and allocate their labor and other productive resources, how they allot their income to satisfy their consumption needs and wants, and how all of this interplays with the social relationships of family, kinship and community. The role of the traditional regional market system will also be examined.
Tuesday, February 1 - 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.
Tuesday, February 8 - Continuity and change
The social and cultural systems of Mexican indigenous peoples have never been static, but the amplitude of change has been episodic with periods of major change propelled by critical realignments in the relationship between indigenous communities and the larger society. After an historical overview of those episodes, we will concentrate on recent far-reaching changes—and resistance to change—brought on by the increasing magnitude of economic and cultural globalization.
Lecturer: 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.
This presentation will take place on the 2nd floor terrace of the Library. Seating in the salon will be made available for those unable to access the terrace. The presentation will be video stream for those in the salon. Please notify the office at least a week in advance for salon seating. Face Masks must be worn at all times. Attendees will be requested to maintain social distancing.
Tickets are $100 for Members and $130 for Non-Members of OLL.
A ticket must be purchased for each part of the series.