This book is a wide-ranging ethnography of Mazatlán, a mid-sized city and tourist destination on Mexico’s Pacific coast. The text focuses on diverse aspects of Mazatlecos’ lives, especially in public realms. Readers will finish with an analytical understanding of life in Mazatlán and a good practical sense of it, too – knowledge that should apply, in some degree, to many other parts of Mexico and, indeed, to much of Spanish-speaking America.Rife with concrete observations of local life – including beaches, bakeries, beauty contests, Carnaval, and corruption – this monograph demonstrates that Mazatlecos expected each other to mix contradictory moral frameworks. The author compares different classes, neighborhoods, and social domains to develop a sophisticated analysis of everyday life in this urban setting. The main themes are how people in Mazatlán define and combine modernity and tradition, the character of various social distinctions among Mazatlecos, and the relationship between individual experience and institutionalized expectations.This volume is not a tourist guide or traveler’s tale. It addresses several types of university-level reader: tourists and foreign residents who want to learn more about Mazatlán; Mexicans who value different perspectives on their lives; academics interested in this region or in a holistic treatment of diverse issues, including space, modernity, history, gender, sexuality, politics, globalization, organization, diversity, hierarchy, identity, and discourse; and anthropologists-in-training looking for a relatively transparent account of fieldwork.TRACY DUVALL studied Mexico for two decades. Having earned an MA in history and a PhD in anthropology, he has taught at universities in the United States, Mexico, and Indonesia and has conducted research in those countries and East Africa. His fieldwork in Mazatlán took place over several years and included lengthy stays in 1996 and 1997.
About Tracy Duvall
Tracy Duvall is an anthropologist with a PhD from the University of Arizona and an MA from the University of Florida. A former high school teacher and college professor, he has conducted research—and engaged in activism—in Indonesia, East Africa, the United States, and Mexico. He currently lives in Washington, D.C., where he has lobbied Congress.