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"We Are Mayordomo": A Reinterpretation of Women's Roles in the Mexican Cargo System

Holly F. Mathews
American Ethnologist
Vol. 12, No. 2 (May, 1985), pp. 285-301
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/644221
Page Count: 17
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
"We Are Mayordomo": A Reinterpretation of Women's Roles in the Mexican Cargo System
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Abstract

This paper explores the empirical consequences of moving beyond the use of the domestic/public framework in analyzing gender roles in the cargo system of the Mexican community of San Miguel. Data demonstrating that religious cargos are held by household units on the basis of wealth are presented. Male and female sponsors are given joint title to office and have parallel roles and duties. In the newly emerging civil sphere, however, officials are elected on the basis of specific individual skills which women often lack. Consequently, as the civil sphere assumes increasing importance over the religious in regulating community affairs, women are being deprived of opportunities to hold community posts. [gender roles, cargo system, Mexico, social structure, community change]

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