Neoliberalism, Transnationalization And Rural Poverty: A Case Study Of Michoacan, Mexico

1st Edition

John Gledhill

Published May 23, 2019
Reference - 255 Pages
ISBN 9780367009359 - CAT# K403266


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Carlos Salinas's government drew praise from many academic commentators and foreign governments for its boldness in embarking on neoliberal economic reforms that tackled some of the shibboleths of the Mexican revolutionary tradition and for its supposedly astute political management of change. This book offers a more critical understanding of the economic, social, and political dimensions of Salinismo. Although Gledhill focuses on its impact on the rural sector in the state of Michoacán, he shows that the problems of the region affect the United States as well as Mexico because reform is being implemented within the framework of a longer-term process of transnationalization of class relations and global capitalist restructuring. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork and anthropological theory, the book takes a close look at the responses of a regional society to economic change and the political strategies of the Salinas regime. Surveying the local impact of changing agricultural policies, ejido reform, and the U.S. Immigration Reform and Control Act, Gledhill distinguishes the positions of different social groups and highlights the larger processes in which the entire region is now caught up. Examining the linkages between rural Mexico and the agribusiness farms and factories of California, he underlines the political and social implications of these evolving relationships on both sides of the border, focusing on questions of hegemony and the role of transnational migrant communities. Only by examining the fractured social worlds of contemporary capitalism and the nature of the politics of exclusion, he concludes, can we assess the true social costs of neoliberal reform.

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