Sarah Washbrook

in Producing Modernity in Mexico

Published by British Academy

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780197264973
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754128 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship Monographs


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This chapter summarizes the preceding discussions and presents some concluding thoughts from the author. Upon close examination, the Porfirian ‘modernity’ in Chiapas turns out to be, if not a total fiction, a blurred and virtual entity — essentially political and hardly technocratic, personalist more than bureaucratic, authoritarian rather than liberal in the broad sense, underpinned by ‘pre-modern’ ethnic divisions and political institutions, conservative instead of progressive, and, one could say, very ‘traditional’ — an ambiguity which derives not only from the peculiarities and contradictions of Porfirian ideas and practices of modernity, but also, undoubtedly, from the unclear nature of the concept itself and its intimate yet ambivalent relationship to its supposed antithesis, ‘tradition’.

Keywords: Porfirian regime; modernity; Chiapas; tradition

Chapter.  7128 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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