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Title The Land of the Magical Maya : Colonial Legacies, Urbanization, and the Unfolding of Global Capitalism
Publication Date
Date Accessioned
Discipline/Department Malmö University. Urban Studies (US)
University/Publisher Malmö University
Abstract The land of the Magical Maya is a mythical region in the south of Mexico where there are enigmatic creatures such as cosmic Indios, vultures, ghosts, white elephants, pineapples, swallows, and flamingos; and wondrous places like cenotes, pyramids, blue moons, old frontiers, new frontiers, and paradise-Zones. In the 1980s, henequen, the agro-based industry that had sustained Yucatán since the 19th century, was close to collapsing. With a sense of urgency, the state government looked for alternatives to diversify the economy in an attempt to prevent the effects of mass unemployment. Almost by chance, but with the help of state intervention, the maquiladora industry filled the gap left by the old system and boomed between 1990 and 2001, followed by a bust, and then a decline. Drawing on fieldwork, and with an analysis that starts with abstractions and zooms in to the level of the everyday, this thesis tells a tale at different scales. This is the story of how people in the city of Motul experienced the rise and decline of Montgomery Industries, the most important maquiladora in the state. There are glimpses into how people’s lives changed and how their city transformed; how the state built infrastructural veins to support the maquiladora industry; and how the government attempted to sell the idea of Yucatán as an exotic, maquiladora paradise where Magical Mayas await. This is also a bigger tale about the relationship between colonial legacies, urbanization, and global capitalism. Through instances of magic, capitalism exists in tension between its tendency to homogenize and its propensity to thrive in differentiation. Capitalism in Yucatán is articulated via the Imperial South through processes of racialization and colonization. Urbanization unfolds in tension between invisibility and visibility. This work contributes to the third wave of Lefebvrian thought, offers insights to the continuous debate of the urban question, advances the project of postcolonial urban studies, and adds to the body of maquiladora studies.
Subjects/Keywords Postcolonial Studies; Lefebvre; Global South; Critical Urban Theory; Maquiladoras; Coloniality
Language en
Country of Publication se
Record ID handle:2043/23812
Repository malmo
Date Retrieved
Date Indexed 2020-03-31
Issued Date 2018-01-01 00:00:00

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…5.11 6.1 1 Map. The state of Yucatán Pencas, henequen Hacienda Yaxcopoil Palacio Cantón Quinta Montes Molina Map. The Old and New Frontiers Graph. Maquiladoras operating in Yucatán between 1981 and 2015 Lefebvre’s conceptual triad of space “Yucatán’s…

…xiv 14 20 21 21 24 24 28 48 94 95 95 96 97 102 102 104 105 107 109 124 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 8.9 8.10 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 leaders. Weaving modernity” “From henequen to maquiladoras. The industrial policy in…

…part of a “metropolitan region,” the Comarca Lagunera, an industrial center in the north of Mexico where maquiladoras are widespread since the early 1990s. This is how I remember the area, after a one-day airport-to-factory-airport hurried visit2 in…

…consisted on assessing if the contracted factories complied with the corporation’s code of conduct but, up to that point, I had actually not visited a factory before. I gazed in awe once I arrived to Torreón. The sheer size of the maquiladoras was imposing…

…did a city like Torren look the way it xxi did. Were maquiladoras spitting out more than products but a certain type of materiality? How was the everyday in a city that felt so purposively built for industry? I knew my questions went beyond Torren…

…other concepts from the postcolonial and coloniality toolkit (Moraña et al., 2008b), and it is informed by the literature of global commodity chains, export processing zones, and maquiladoras. The research questions are as follows: • 4 How…

…Yucatn? o How has the everyday changed in Motul since the arrival of maquiladoras? o What is the connection between maquiladoras and the urbanization process in Motul? How does the urban process unfold and how is it influenced by the logic of capital…

…between abstract and differential space? What transformative possibilities do these contradictions reveal? Justification The maquiladora industry is a good example to reflect on how global capitalism and the urban process unfold in Yucatn. Maquiladoras