Introduction: Writing a History of Alcohol in Guatemala

David Carey

in Distilling the Influence of Alcohol

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780813041629
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780813043432 | DOI:
Introduction: Writing a History of Alcohol in Guatemala

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Because its sale, production, and consumption were steady throughout the year, alcohol, more than any other commodity (including coffee, which generally involved Maya only during the harvest season), was at the center of relations between Maya, ladinos, and the state in Guatemala. Alcohol was a marker of social position and cultural identity, a crucial component in community and state building, and a commodity around which different cultural traditions and policing policies developed and evolved. In this sense, alcohol provides a window into the broader history of Guatemala where a Hispanicized state confronted its predominantly indigenous subjects at every turn.

Keywords: Alcohol; Latin America; State building; Social relations; Economics; Policing

Chapter.  5637 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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