chapter  five
23 Pages

Mexican Anthropology's Ongoing Search for Identity

WithEsteban Krotz

This chapter discusses the relationship between the nation-state and anthropology as one of the keys for understanding the makeup of an anthropological tradition, and outlines some of the principal features of contemporary Mexican society and its anthropology. It describes a series of traits and intrinsic tensions in Mexican anthropology that might aid in comparing that anthropology with others of the South and North. Structural-functional anthropology, diffusionism, and culturalism were understood as re-foundations of the discipline, just as Marxism would be half a century later and, three decades after that, the neo-Boasian anthropology that is sometimes called postmodern. The hegemonic anthropology has endured, in the wake of its original paradigm of nineteenth-century evolutionism, repeated transformations of such breadth that they can be described as ruptures. Mexican anthropology has known substitutions of this type. Unlike the first radical challenge of indigenism, which corresponded to a generational change, the eclipsing of Marxism was carried out without a generational change and almost without controversy.