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The Mayan in the Mall: Globalization, Development, and the Making of Modern Guatemalaby J. T. Way
Synopses & Reviews
In The Mayan in the Mall, J. T. Way traces the creation of modern Guatemala from the 1920s to the present through a series of national and international development projects. Way shows that, far from being chronically underdeveloped, this nation of stark contrastsandmdash;where shopping malls and multinational corporate headquarters coexist with some of the Western Hemisphere's poorest and most violent slumsandmdash;is the embodiment of globalized capitalism.
Using a wide array of historical and contemporary sources, Way explores the multiple intersections of development and individual life, focusing on the construction of social space through successive waves of land reform, urban planning, and economic policy. His explorations move from Guatemala City's poorest neighborhoods and informal economies (run predominantly by women) to a countryside still recovering from civil war and anti-Mayan genocide, and they encompass such artifacts of development as the modernist Pan-American Highway and the postmodern Grand Tikal Futura, a Mayan-themed shopping mall ringed by gated communities and shantytowns. Capitalist development, Way concludes, has dramatically reshaped the country's physical and social landscapesandmdash;engendering poverty, ethnic regionalism, and genocidal violenceandmdash;and positioned Guatemala as a harbinger of globalization's future.
Analyzes power, violence and development in modern Guatemala to demonstrate that what is seemingly "anti-modern" about Guatemalan landscape, society, and economy was developed as a part of modernity.
This twentieth-century history of Guatemala begins with an analysis of the Grand Tikal Futura, a postmodern shopping mall with a faux-Mayan facade that is surrounded by a landscape of gated subdivisions, evangelical churches, motels, Kaqchikel-speaking villages, and some of the most poverty-stricken ghettos in the hemisphere.
About the Author
J. T. Way is a History Professor and Director at CIRMA (Centro de Investigaciones Regionales de Mesoamérica/Mesoamerican Research Center) in Antigua, Guatemala; Faculty Affiliate at the University of Arizona; and Founder and President of The John T. Way Global Education Foundation, Inc.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Introduction. Grand Tikal Futura: andquot;Put1. andquot;Like Sturdy Little Animalsandquot;: Making the Modern Anti-Modern, 1920sand#8211;1944ting the Mayan in the Mallandquot; 1
1. andquot;Like Sturdy Little Animalsandquot;: Making the Modern Anti-Modern, 1920sand#8211;1944 13
2. Chaos and Rationality: The Dialectic of the Guatemalan Ghetto 41
3. Oficios de su Sexo: Gender, the Informal Economy, and Anticommunist Development 67
4. Making the Immoral Metropolis: Infrastructure, Economics, and War 94
5. Executing Capital: Green Revolution, Genocide, and the Transition to Neoliberalism 124
6. A Society of Vendors: Contradictions and Everyday Life in the Guatemalan Market 152
7. Cuatro Gramos Norte: Fragmentation and Concentration in the Wake of Victory 181
Appendix. A Grass-roots List of Transnationals in Guatemala, circa 1978 210
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