A Return to Servitude: Maya Migration and the Tourist Trade in Cancún (First Peoples: New Directions Indigenous) (Paperback)

A Return to Servitude: Maya Migration and the Tourist Trade in Cancún (First Peoples: New Directions Indigenous) Cover Image
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As a free trade zone and Latin America's most popular destination, Cancún, Mexico, is more than just a tourist town. It is not only actively involved in the production of transnational capital but also forms an integral part of the state's modernization plan for rural, indigenous communities. Indeed, Maya migrants make up over a third of the city's population.
A Return to Servitude is an ethnography of Maya migration within Mexico that analyzes the foundational role indigenous peoples play in the development of the modern nation-state. Focusing on tourism in the Yucatán Peninsula, M. Bianet Castellanos examines how Cancún came to be equated with modernity, how this city has shaped the political economy of the peninsula, and how indigenous communities engage with this vision of contemporary life. More broadly, she demonstrates how indigenous communities experience, resist, and accommodate themselves to transnational capitalism.
Tourism and the social stratification that results from migration have created conflict among the Maya. At the same time, this work asserts, it is through engagement with modernity and its resources that they are able to maintain their sense of indigeneity and community.

About the Author

M. Bianet Castellanos is assistant professor of American studies at the University of Minnesota.

Praise For…

"Weaving Avery Gordon’s notion of haunting with theories of transnationalism and modernity, M. Bianet Castellanos argues that the cultural and material shifts that accompany Maya migration for work in Cancún’s tourism industry enable negotiation, accommodation, and even resistance to Mexico’s neoliberal reforms. A Return to Servitude dismantles romantic representations of tourism and illustrates vividly how the Maya struggle to survive." —Patricia Zavella, UC-Santa Cruz

"M. Bianet Castellanos introduces us to Mayas serving in the tourist meccas of the Yucatan where their ancestors built the temples and pyramids that draw people from all over the world. As they refashion their lives in the playgrounds of transnational tourists she reveals how they are acquiring new notions of personhood and gender, leaving behind the old markers of dress and language as they negotiate and sometimes resist neoliberal premises." —June Nash, author of Mayan Visions: The Quest for Autonomy in an Age of Globalization

Product Details
ISBN: 9780816656158
ISBN-10: 0816656150
Publisher: Univ Of Minnesota Press
Publication Date: November 1st, 2010
Pages: 296
Language: English
Series: First Peoples: New Directions Indigenous