American University
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posted on 2023-09-06, 03:55 authored by Allen Robert Franz

This study offers a multileveled model of sociocultural patterning in the state of Zacatecas, Mexico, focusing particularly on the processual and interactional organization of relations. The model highlights the interplay between situational and relational variables, on the one hand, and behavioral and interactional goals and predispositions, on the other. At the same time, it describes certain comparative differences both within the state and between Zacatecas and other areas and communities within Mexico. A systems framework is developed, interrelating similarities and differences within Zacatecas in terms of both external or contextual variables and institutional and interactional reciprocities. By virtue of its scale, location, and history, the Zacatecas area and its regional subdivisions provide a useful field for the study of several major dichotomies in Mexican and Latin American culture and society--most notably those pertaining to north-south, rural-urban, and mestizo-Indian contrasts. The state is divided into six intergrading geographical regions, which are qualitatively distinguished and then quantitatively compared by statistical analysis of composite census data and other materials relating to demographic and sociocultural variations. Similarly, rural-urban contrasts are examined through a statistical analysis of materials organized to reflect the relation between community size and sociocultural patterns. Huichol Indian and Mennonite sociocultural patterns are compared with mestizo patterns. Next, the historical roots of contemporary Zacatecas are traced. The antecedents of modern institutional configurations and interactional patterns are described in order to shed light on continuities in the ethnographic present and to evaluate the scope of changes since the Mexican Revolution. Within this geographical and historical context, economic, political, social, and religious patterns are seen as the outcome of the juxtaposition of popular attitudinal predispositions over the situational distribution of relationships and resources. Social differentiation and cultural diversity are examined in terms of the reciprocal or complementary nature of interactional patterns within each institutional realm. Attitudinal predispositions orienting and motivating interaction are explored within the context of physical and cultural geography, history, and contemporary institutional patterns. The study underscores the importance of customary channels to personal fulfillment, largely achieved through performance in basic family and community roles. Personal success is found to be measured in terms of achievement of material sufficiency, independence, respect, moral uprightness, and salvation for the individual and his or her family. These goals demand certain sacrifices and conformity to certain customary standards. Change is constrained by this pre-existing matrix of relationships and processes. Thus, while everyone nurses the hope of attaining greater material independence, social and political influence, and spiritual rewards, they wish to do so within the existing framework of relations and values rather than through fundamental changes of the system itself.



American University




Ph.D. American University 1980.


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