Protest and Social Movements in the Developing World
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Protest and Social Movements in the Developing World

Edited by Shinichi Shigetomi and Kumiko Makino

In this insightful book, the contributors focus on the impact of contextual factors on social movements in the developing world, pushing major existing theories beyond their traditional focus.
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Chapter 7: Dynamics of Ideal Values and Social Movement in a Corporatist State: Mexican Indigenous Peoples’ Movements and a Village’s Challenge

Akio Yonemura


Akio Yonemura INTRODUCTION Indigenous peoples’ movements in Mexico have developed extensively since the 1970s. An important element driving this change was the advent of indianismo (Indianism), an idea that emphasizes ethnic identity. Indianismo functioned as an essential ideology for indigenous peoples’ movements, promoting their unity, militancy and independence from peasant movements by arousing awareness among these peoples that they belonged to a unique category distinct from other peasants and workers. The philosophy itself appears to have developed from a background of worldwide radicalism that was prevalent in the social movements and thinking since the late 1960s. It is notable that in this radicalism the themes of self-awareness and of the problem of identity are pivotal. However, to understand the development of these movements, consideration of Mexico’s internal conditions, which promoted the progress of those indianista (Indianist) movements, is also indispensable. This chapter considers, thus, the ideals of the Mexican Revolution and the corporatist state regime. Created by that Revolution, these two represent, in this chapter, ‘fundamentals’ for internal conditions. The chapter discusses the development of the indigenous peoples’ movements in terms of a dynamic between social movements and these two fundamentals: how social movements affected the fundamentals and, in turn, how the affected fundamentals conditioned social movements. To put it more concretely, it shows that big social movements – the 1968 student movement (the massacre in the Tlatelolco plaza) and the 1994 Zapatista Rebellion – revitalized (and reinterpreted) the 1910 Revolution’s ideals. These two movements also forced the government to modify the...

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