Hierarchy and Trust in Modern Mexico and Brazil

By Luis Roniger | Go to book overview

Chapter 1
Clientelism and Trust

THE VARIETY OF CLIENTELISTIC BONDS

Hierarchical relationships in which one party feels dependent on the other have long been common in Latin American societies in a wide variety of situations. In agrarian sectors, for example, landowners often provided selective access to monopolized lands and water sources, thereby creating indebtedness and moral obligations while obtaining a steady supply of labor services or scarce skills. There, as in urban contexts with high rates of unemployment, employment opportunities are provided in exchange for loyalty and backing in elections. Politicians may secure a loan, a place in a secondary school, a hospital bed, or other special considerations for their employees, "friends of friends," and followers in return for political loyalty; conversely, people may seek the political protection of a powerful man. In another setting, bureaucrats may provide preferential access to petitioners in return for future favors. Poor people may try to establish links with men of rank in order to share in their "social visibility," while the latter use these links to consolidate their status. Market-stall holders may give special treatment to customers of high status to initiate a compadrazgo (ritual kinship) relationship. In provincial towns, middlemen may obtain the option to buy everything grown by the campesinos by lending them money during lean months and assisting them when they are in trouble with the law, as landowners of the past did with their serfs or tenants. Professional men may seek prestige and a following by offering their services to the rural and urban poor without demanding any immediate return. Union activists build the following necessary for them to gain high-level office and control of institutional resources.

That this assortment of social arrangements--abstracted from a wide gamut of situations and organizational frameworks--differs, changing over

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Hierarchy and Trust in Modern Mexico and Brazil
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Tables and Figures ix
  • Preface xi
  • Chapter 1 Clientelism and Trust 1
  • Notes 19
  • Chapter 2 Hierarchy and Clientelism in Latin America 21
  • Notes 33
  • Chapter 3 the Institutional Context of Mexico and Brazil 35
  • Notes 54
  • Chapter 4 Clientelism in Mexico 57
  • Notes 93
  • Chapter 5 Clientelism in Brazil 97
  • Notes 141
  • Chapter 6 Cross-National Comparison of Mexican and Brazilian Clientelism 145
  • Notes 156
  • Chapter 7 Multi-Dimensional Comparison of Network Variability 159
  • Notes 177
  • Chapter 8 Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Mexican and Brazilian Clientelism 179
  • Conclusion 197
  • Notes 199
  • Bibliography 203
  • Index 233
  • About the Author 237
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