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Zapotec Women

by Stephen, Lynn

Zapotec Women cover
  • ISBN: 9780292790650
  • ISBN10: 0292790651

Zapotec Women

by Stephen, Lynn

  • List Price: $17.95
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Publish date: 12/01/2007
  • ISBN: 9780292790650
  • ISBN10: 0292790651
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Description: What happens when indigenous culture is packaged for sale in the United States ? How does capital accumulation affect relations between men and women, local politics, kinship, and reciprocal exchanges of goods and labor? In this innovative study of several Zapotec communities in and around Oaxaca, Mexico, Lynn Stephen explores these questions, looking at how commercial weaving for export has altered the lives of women since the Mexican Revolution. Drawing on firsthand insights gleaned during two and a half years of fieldwork, Stephen shows that the expansion of capitalism has affected Zapotec women in different ways. She demonstrates how class and ethnicity as well as gender determine women's roles and standing in the community. Individual life histories complement her data, showing how women may hold a position of importance in one area (ritual life, weaving production, or local politics), while occupying a subservient position in another. She also compares Zapotec women's participation in local politics with that of other peasant women in Mexico. Stephen concludes that while the commercialization of Zapotec weaving has produced class differentiation--as classic economic theories predict--it has also reinforced kin-based institutions that support a strong sense of local ethnic identity. These findings offer important new insights for the fields of economic and political anthropology, Latin American and Third World studies, and women's studies.
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