The Fiesta network. Social organization of a Mexican community 1679-2001
For decades, Mesoamerican ethnographies have represented communities as being internally coherent and hardly integrated externally. The present ethnography includes social relations – and thus external integration – by way of marriage, compadrazgo, and cargo. Such outside relations were established already in the early 18th century, and they have been enhanced by modernization and industrialization. Outside contacts have not proven to be dangerous for internal cohesion and identity of the community, however. Schnegg has found that the money earned outside of the village of Belén (the site of fieldwork in Tlaxcala) is being converted into cultural capital within the village by celebrating fiestas. The author introduces ‚the Mesoamerican community´, his method (participant observation, open interviews, a sample, standardized interviews, archival data), portrays the history and ethnographic background, followed by the three complexes of cargo system, marriage, and compadrazgo. The last chapters discuss questions like modernization and individualization, open vs. closed society, and the political, religious, and social field.
Keywords: community in Mesoamerica, marriage in Mesoamerica, compadrazgo, patron-client relationships, clientelism, cargo, networks, capital, social organization, fiestas, modernization and identity, identity in Mesoamerica