This book applies Thorstein Veblen’s cultural theory to a qualitative study of the charro cowboy culture and community in Mexico. Drawing on Veblen’s arguments regarding cultural lag, the peaceable and the barbaric, predatory culture, vested interest, and pecuniary interest, it examines the comportment, clothing, mannerisms, and adherence to the norms that are unique to this subculture, while considering the cultural changes within race, class, and gender dynamics of this community in relation to mainstream Mexico. With close attention to the impact of business principles and standardization on the charro, leading to changes in practices and social interactions, the author considers generational differences and the tensions that exist between newer and older charros as a result of the developing emphasis on business. A close study of the nature of cultural adaptability and the persistence of inequality regardless of mainstream illusions of equality, this volume sheds new light on our understanding of what culture is rather than what culture does, while reintroducing the neglected ethnographic streak in Veblen’s work as an important methodological and theoretical tool in the interpretation of culture.
Table of Contents
2. The Influence of Business Principles
3. The Modern Charro Cowboy Ambition and Fantasy
4. The Ranking of Charro Cowboy Women
5. Beautiful Women on Horses
Beatriz Aldana Marquez is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Texas State University.