Constructing Culture and Power in Latin America

Daniel H. Levine, Editor
Provides a basis for understanding change in Latin America and what that understanding means for scholarly analysis


The argument and evidence collected in this book advance a distinct point of view on change in Latin America, and its meaning for scholarship in general. Transformations in culture, power, and the relations between them provide the core of an approach that takes account of how individuals and groups define themselves and in the process refashion their encounter with enduring structures of meaning and power. Seeing culture and power as active and creative processes is an essential step in the effort to repeople the social sciences with recognizable human beings, not abstractions deduced from theoretical principles.

Abandoning the determinism and elite-bound concepts of earlier approaches, Constructing Culture and Power in Latin America directs attention to a rich range of encounters and connections among levels of action: rituals and markets, rallies and routine meetings, parades and political parties, community groups, churches, states, and armies. The result is a working concept of culture and power that makes systematic room for cultural change and for understanding how popular groups negotiate their relations with institutions of power and meaning over the long term.

Praise / Awards

  • "The critical value of this work is that Levine has now cogently and compellingly renewed his case that all of Latin American society can be studied fruitfully the same way he taught us to study Latin America's religious populations: as an open, undetermined process, which is nonetheless shaped by confluences of important structures. The result varies from the interesting to the stunning."
    Studies in Comparative International Development

Look Inside


Constructing Culture and Power
Daniel H. Levine     1

Capitalist Dreams: Chile's Response to Nineteenth-Century World Copper Competition
William W. Culver and Cornel J. Reinhart     41

Local History in Global Context: Social and Economic Transitions in Western Guatamela
Carol A. Smith     75

Peasants into Rebels: Community and Class in Rural El Salvador
A. Douglas Kincaid     119

Black and White and Color: Cardenismo and the Search for a Campesino Ideology
Marjorie J. Becker     155

Popular Groups, Popular Culture, and Popular Religion
Daniel H. Levine     171

Organizing, Ideology, and Moral Suasion: Political Discourse and Action in a Mexican Town
Michael W. Foley     227

To Be in Between: The Cholas as Market Women
Linda J. Seligmann     267

Regarding the Philanthropic Ogre: Cultural Policy in Brazil, 1930-45/1964-90
Randal Johnson     311

The Function of the Form: Power Play and Ritual in the 1988 Mexican Presidential Campaign
Larissa Adler Lomnitz, Claudio Lomnitz Adler, and Ilya Adler     357

Political Elites and State Building: The Case of Nineteenth-Century Brazil
Jose Murilo de Carvalho     403

The Cuban Revolution in Comparative Perspective
Susan Eckstein     429

Contributors     461
Index     463

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 488pp.
  • 2 photographs, 27 tables, 1 map.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Paper
  • 1993
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-06456-4

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  • $44.95 U.S.