Synopses & Reviews
Because of the long dominance of Mexicos leading political party, the Partido Revolucionario Institucional, the campaigns of its presidential candidates were never considered relevant in determining the victor. This book offers an ethnography of the Mexican political system under PRI hegemony, focusing on the relationship between the formal democratic structure of the state and the unofficial practices of the underlying political culture, and addressing the question of what purpose campaigns serve when the outcome is predetermined.
Discussing Mexican presidential politics from the perspectives of anthropology, political science, and communications science, the authors analyze the 1988 presidential campaign of Carlos Salinas de Gortari—the last great campaign of the PRI to display the characteristics traditionally found in the twentieth century. These detailed descriptions of campaign events show that their ritualistic nature expressed both a national culture and an aura of domination.
The authors describe the political and cultural context in which this campaign took place—an authoritarian presidential system that dated from the 1920s—and explain how the constitutional provisions of the state interacted with the informal practices of the party to produce highly scripted symbolic rituals. Their analysis probes such topics as the meanings behind the candidates behavior, the effects of public opinion polling, and the role of the press, then goes on to show how the system has begun to change since 2000.
By dealing with the campaign from multiple perspectives, the authors reveal it as a rite of passage that sheds light on the political culture of the country. Their study expands our understanding of authoritarianism during the years of PRI dominance and facilitates comparison of current practices with those of the past.
"A very welcome contribution to a variety of important literatures including politics, sociology, history, Latin American studies, and of course Mexican studies. It is an indispensable resource to all students of Mexico in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century." --Douglas S. Massey, author of Categorically Unequal: The American Stratification System
"A solid addition to the study of postindependence Mexico."and#8212;Choice
andldquo;For most of its eighty-plus years, the media behemoth known today as Televisa, long the de facto propaganda arm of the Mexican state, has been all but hermetically sealed against inspection by researchers. Few have interviewed its executives, let alone probed its archives. That Celeste Gonzandaacute;lez de Bustamante has accessed two decadesandrsquo; worth of broadcast news scripts is a feat of scholarly gumption and tenacity. Her resulting book offers a fascinating and unprecedentedly detailed account of news dissemination between 1950 and 1970 by the most influential television company in the Spanish- speaking world.andrdquo;andmdash;Andrew Paxman, Hispanic American Historical Review
andldquo;As the party that governed Mexico for seventy years returns to power amid protests over collusion between the media and politicians, Celeste Gonzandaacute;lez de Bustamante has published a timely examination of just how much influence television has. Based on five case studies and rare access to the archives of Latin Americaandrsquo;s most influential television empire, Televisa, the study offers far more than its title promises. . . . The study also adds important insights to the rich literature on national identity formation. Muy Buenas Noches is a significant contribution that will add to the scholarly discussion in a variety of disciplines and fields.andrdquo;andmdash;Juanita Darling, American Journalism
andldquo;Each chapterandrsquo;s consistent grounding in the larger arc of Mexican and international history makes Muy Buenas Noches an easily digestible book, even for those with little previous knowledge of the country. Undoubtedly, Muy Buenas Noches will stand as a central text for future researchers intrigued by the questions Gonzandaacute;lez de Bustamante raises, as well as those searching for the historical roots of the countryandrsquo;s current media climate.andrdquo;andmdash;Taylor Jardno, NACLA Report on the Americasand#160;and#160;
andldquo;One of the strengths of Gonzandaacute;lezandrsquo;s book lays in her ability to paint a vivid picture of the behind-the-scenes machinations that defined the relationship between Telesistema Mexicano and the Mexican government. . . . and#160;Celeste Gonzandaacute;lez de Bustamante has produced an outstanding account of the first two decades of Mexican television news. Her illumination of the tensions that infused the connections between Telesistema Mexicano, the PRI, Mexican viewers, and the United States during the Cold War succeeds in underscoring the limits of cultural hegemony. In the process, this well written and solidly researched monograph will be of interest to both scholars and students of modern Mexico, media studies, and the Cold War.andrdquo;andmdash;Michael A. Krysko, A Contra corriente
An ethnography of the Mexican political system under PRI hegemony, analyzing the 1988 Salinas campaign to show relationship between the formal democratic structure of the state and the unofficial practices of the underlying political culture, and addressing the question of what purpose campaigns serve when the outcome is predetermined.
By the end of the twentieth century, Mexican multimedia conglomerate Televisa stood as one of the most powerful media companies in the world. Most scholars have concluded that the companyand#8217;s success was owed in large part to its executives who walked in lockstep with the government and the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI), which ruled for seventy-one years. At the same time, government decisions regulating communications infrastructure aided the development of the television industry. In one of the first books to be published in English on Mexican television, Celeste Gonzand#225;lez de Bustamante argues that despite the cozy relationship between media moguls and the PRI, these connections should not be viewed as static and without friction.
Through an examination of early television news programs, this book reveals the tensions that existed between what the PRI and government officials wanted to be reported and what was actually reported and how. Further, despite the increasing influence of television on society, viewers did not always accept or agree with what they saw on the air. Television news programming played an integral role in creating a sense of lo mexicano (that which is Mexican) at a time of tremendous political, social, and cultural change. At its core the book grapples with questions about the limits of cultural hegemony at the height of the PRI and the cold war.
, a formal list of grievances designed to spark political change in nineteenth-century Mexico, was a problematic yet necessary practice. Although pronunciamientos rarely achieved the goals for which they were undertaken and sometimes resulted in armed rebellion, they were nonetheless both celebrated and commemorated, and the perceptions and representations of pronunciamientos themselves reflected the Mexican peopleand#8217;s response to these and#8220;revolutions.and#8221;
The third in a series of books examining the pronunciamiento, this collection addresses the complicated legacy of pronunciamientos and their place in Mexican political culture. The essays explore the sacralization and legitimization of these revolts and of their leaders in the nationand#8217;s history and consider why these celebrations proved ultimately ineffective in consecrating the pronunciamiento as a force for good, rather than one motivated by desires for power, promotion, and plunder. Celebrating Insurrection offers readers interpretations of acts of celebration and commemoration that explain the uneasy adoption of pronunciamientos as Mexicoand#8217;s preferred means of effecting political change during this turbulent period in the nationand#8217;s history.
About the Author
Larissa Adler-Lomnitz (PhD) is a socio-cultural anthropologist, specializing in social networks analyses. She is a full-time professor and researcher at the Institute for Applied Mathematics at the National University of Mexico (IIMAS - UNAM). In 1995 she received the National Prize of Science in the Humanities. She is the author of several books that include: Networks and Marginality
, A Mexican Elite Family
, Becoming a Scientist in Mexico
, and Chiles Political Culture and Parties
. She has also written the article “Informal Networks in Formal Systems”, among others. Her latest book is Lo formal y lo informal en las sociedades contemporáneas.
Rodrigo Salazar Elena (MD) is a political scientist. He is a full-time professor and researcher at the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO) in Mexico. He has authored and co-authored papers on Mexican electoral dynamics, Latin American politics, and political culture. His current research interests involve populism in Latin America, the causes and consequences of presidential reelection, and social science methodology.
Ilya Adler (Ph.D.) specializes in international and intercultural communications. He has been a professor for many years teaching in the areas of communications, business and international relations at Mexican and U.S. universities, including the University of Illinois-Chicago, the Tecnológico de Monterrey, the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and Alliant International University. He has also held several academic administrative positions. He has authored a number of articles and a book dealing with social, political and cultural issues in Mexico and has been a regular columnist of Mexconnect, an electronic magazine dedicated to Mexico, writing about the cultural challenges faced in the Mexican business world. He has also been a successful consultant to business and public institutions both in the U.S. and Mexico.