It has long been realized that market-based development tends to impact Third World rural communities by increasing stratification between those who are able to take advantage of increasing opportunities and those who are less fortunate (for instance, Kottak, 1999). An extreme example of this was the early impact of the Green Revolution during the 1960s and 1970s. It more than tripled the productivity of rice in parts of Asia, but on the village level it often had a less benign effect on the wealth gap and the retention of assets by the very poor.1 Less extreme cases are represented in this volume by Eric Jones and Ueli Hostettler. Both describe instances in which increasing contact with the outside was the main element impacting on rural communities rather than technological innovations in agriculture. They differ, however, in that Jones approaches the subject synchronically by using central place theory and network analysis, while Hostettler’s contribution is decidedly historical in character.
The Mexican government has been criticized for its implementation of neo-liberal economic policies that threaten to further impoverish indigenous populations. Given this…
The Mexican government has been criticized for its implementation of neo-liberal economic policies that threaten to further impoverish indigenous populations. Given this, it is surprising that in 1997 some members of the Mixe people – one of the poorest indigenous groups in Mexico – condemned the implementation of a new government funding project that was specifically intended to alleviate hardship caused by free trade. The paper argues that objections to both free trade and the new funding program stem from the overarching problem the Mixe face, namely their systematic exclusion from decision-making processes and citizenship at the national level.