As a free trade zone and Latin America's most popular destination, Cancun, Mexico, is more than just a tourist town. It is not only actively involved in the production of transnational capital but also forms an integral part of the state's modernization plan for rural, indigenous communities. Indeed, Maya migrants make up over a third of the city's population.
"A Return to Servitude" is an ethnography of Maya migration within Mexico that analyzes the foundational role indigenous peoples play in the development of the modern nation-state. Focusing on tourism in the Yucatan Peninsula, M. Bianet Castellanos examines how Cancun came to be equated with modernity, how this city has shaped the political economy of the peninsula, and how indigenous communities engage with this vision of contemporary life. More broadly, she demonstrates how indigenous communities experience, resist, and accommodate themselves to transnational capitalism.
Tourism and the social stratification that results from migration have created conflict among the Maya. At the same time, this work asserts, it is through engagement with modernity and its resources that they are able to maintain their sense of indigeneity and community.
"Weaving Avery Gordon's notion of haunting with theories of transnationalism and modernity, M. Bianet Castellanos argues that the cultural and material shifts that accompany Maya migration for work in Cancun's tourism industry enable negotiation, accommodation, and even resistance to Mexico's neoliberal reforms. A Return to Servitude dismantles romantic representations of tourism and illustrates vividly how the Maya struggle to survive." -Patricia Zavella, UC-Santa Cruz
"M. Bianet Castellanos introduces us to Mayas serving in the tourist meccas of the Yucatan where their ancestors built the temples and pyramids that draw people from all over the world. As they refashion their lives in the playgrounds of transnational tourists she reveals how they are acquiring new notions of personhood and gender, leaving behind the old markers of dress and language as they negotiate and sometimes resist neoliberal premises." -June Nash, author of Mayan Visions: The Quest for Autonomy in an Age of Globalization
|Introduction: Phantoms of Modernity||p. xv|
|Devotees of the Santa Cruz: Two Family Histories||p. 1|
|Modernizing Indigenous Communities: Agrarian Reform and the Cultural Missions||p. 18|
|Indigenous Education, Adolescent Migration, and Wage Labor||p. 43|
|Civilizing Bodies: Learning to Labor in Cancún||p. 77|
|Gustos, Goods, and Gender: Reproducing Maya Social Relations||p. 110|
|Becoming Chingón/a: Maya Subjectivity, Development Narratives, and the Limits of Progress||p. 141|
|The Phantom City: Rethinking Tourism as Development after Hurricane Wilma||p. 163|
|Epilogue: Resurrecting Phantoms, Resisting Neoliberalism||p. 178|
|Appendix: Kin Chart of Can Tun and May Pat Families||p. 183|
|Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.|
Series: First Peoples: New Directions Indigenous
Number Of Pages: 296
Published: 1st November 2010
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 14.0 x 2.03
Weight (kg): 0.36