Work and ideology in the Maya highlands of Guatemala: economic beliefs in the context of occupational change

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Humility, honesty, land, hard work, a sense of community solidarity, shared resources through reciprocity networks, and a suspicious attitude toward accumulation characterize the traditional Almolongueno economic belief system. In contrast, present research suggests that a growing number of individuals are abandoning such a viewpoint. The emerging belief system conceptualizes accumulation in positive terms. Individualism and the view that one must better oneself underscores this belief system. The article examines historical, environmental, and social factors that may have defined the situation in Almolonga and be responsible for these diverging viewpoints. It finds that religious conversion is only indirectly related to the rejection of the more traditional economic belief system, if at all. Rather, changes in occupation are the major factors to be considered, independent of any effects of religion. While the study emphasizes the dialectical nature of sociocultural change, it also highlights the effect of the labor process on the definition and redefinition of cultural values. -from Author

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-123
Number of pages21
JournalEconomic Development & Cultural Change
Volume41
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Economics and Econometrics

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