Regional Cultures and the Culture of the State

Claudio Lomnitz-Adler

in Exits from the Labyrinth

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 1993 | ISBN: 9780520077881
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520912472 | DOI:
Regional Cultures and the Culture of the State

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This chapter shows the implications of a spatial perspective for understanding the culture of the state, and demonstrates how the state articulates cultural regions in Mexico. It interprets the racial and class images that are present in the caudillo/cacique typology. It also argues that the historians who formalized the dichotomy between caudillos and caciques have simply adopted the dominant ideology about national power. The kinds of mediating roles that “caciques” play in regional space are determined. Furthermore, it describes the routinization of both cacique and caudillo power. Mexican political development went from bureaucratic forms of power in the colonial period, to charismatic forms in the early and mid-nineteenth century, to traditional forms in the Porfiriato. The distinction between caudillos and caciques turns out to be fundamental only because the former are fetishes of nationality. The relationship between caciques, regional culture and the state is finally covered.

Keywords: caudillo; cacique; Mexico; national power; regional culture; state; ideology

Chapter.  12816 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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