Social Inequality in Oaxaca: A History of Resistance and Change

Synopsis

This may be the only book that analyzes the urbanization of one area from its origins more than two thousand years ago to the present. Arthur Murphy and Alex Stepick examine Oaxaca, Mexico, where they have been doing research regularly for the last twenty years. Paying particular attention to neighborhoods, families, and economic activities, they focus on issues of poverty and inequality. Oaxaca is a city marked by socioeconomic inequality that has felt the alternating trends of integration into and isolation from the broader world. It is a city in which tens of thousands of households resolutely try to adapt, to survive and pass on something of themselves to their children. With rich ethnographic material and historical research, Murphy and Stepick describe gender roles, the dynamic nature of households, the importance of compadrazgo (co-godparenthood) as a social institution, class-based political struggles and strikes, and the role of children in redeeming their parents from poverty. Individual life histories emerge from their research, each representing diverse class, familial, and economic structures within Oaxacan society. Author note: Arthur D. Murphy is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Georgia State University. >P>Alex Stepick is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Florida International University.

Additional information