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Reading: Social Movements and Hybrid Cultural Formations: Tepoztlán’s “No Al Golf”


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Social Movements and Hybrid Cultural Formations: Tepoztlán’s “No Al Golf”


John Stolle-McAllister

University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)
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What does it mean when a “traditional” Mexican campesino declares himself to be an “environmentalist?” How do we explain a women’s Bible study group taking up the mantle of defenders of “human rights?” How do these new titles and identifications reflect changing self-perception and local social relations? And, how do existing social relations change the meanings of those globalizing discourses? These were some of the questions that I encountered as I investigated a conflict in the town of Tepoztlán, Morelos, around the construction of a golf course. What began, ostensibly, as a conflict over a request to change land use rules, quickly drew in actors and organizations from well beyond the territorial limits of Tepoztlán, and became articulated not just in legalistic or political/institutional discourse, but in terms of fundamental cultural conflict. Opponents of the golf course, for instance, consistently attempted to frame the argument in terms of an almost sacred local autonomy versus outside imposition, whereas supporters of the golf course pointed to supposed universal desires and models of development versus a manipulative minority of irrational individuals who were willing to sacrifice the common good in the name of some antiquated sense of local identity.

How to Cite: Stolle-McAllister, J., (2007). Social Movements and Hybrid Cultural Formations: Tepoztlán’s “No Al Golf”. Middle Atlantic Review of Latin American Studies. 15(1), pp.11–28. DOI:
Published on 01 Jan 2007.
Peer Reviewed


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