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Pluralizing Ethnography

Comparison and Representation in Maya Cultures, Histories, and Identities

Edited by John M.Watanabe and Edward F. Fischer

Pluralizing Ethnography2004. 368 pp., 8 black-and-white illustrations, 1 table, notes, references, index, 6 x 92004. 368 pp., 8 black-and-white illustrations, 1 table, notes, references, index, 6 x 9

This volume brings together eight Maya specialists and a prominent anthropological theorist as discussant to assess the contrasting historical circumstances and emerging cultural futures of Maya in Mexico and Guatemala. Rather than presume a romanticized, timeless Maya culture-or the globalized predicaments of transnationalized Maya imaginings-this seminar took its cue from contemporary Maya cultural activists who derive their enduring sense of Mayan-ness from a historical consciousness of five hundred years of cultural resilience. The contributors evaluate the history of Maya peoples and Maya anthropology by examining language, religion, political attitudes and activism, ethnographic traditions, and the relationship between economic change, migration, and cultural identity

In comparing Maya peoples across Mexico and Guatemala, the contributors' emphasis on culture recovers intermediate linkages between the personal and the political, the local and the global. Their work enables a controlled cross-cultural comparison across national boundaries and histories that in turn illuminates the articulation between locally constructed meanings and global transformations.

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Contributors: Victoria Bricker, Edward F. Fischer, Richard G. Fox, Gary H. Gossen, Christine A. Kray, Victor D. Montejo, June Nash, Jan Rus, John M. Watanabe

View the Table of Contents

Download an excerpt (PDF, 128 KB).

Read Reviews

  • “The authors are all leading scholars of the Maya region who have carried out long term fieldwork projects among different groups in the area…. Each essay presents original arguments and new data, and several … are really fabulous.”
    Dr. John Monaghan, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • “[A]ltogether this book stimulates many ideas from one approach to language origins. It is well written, thoroughly referenced, and makes a substantial contribution to the ongoing discussion of this issue.”
    Dr. Grant Jones, Davidson College

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