Mayan People Within and Beyond Boundaries explores the Maya of Yucatan, the Maya of academic institutions and the Maya of the tourist industry. It examines the interplay between the local and the external, academic categories of the Maya, and seeks to transcend the paradoxical and incongruent relationship between the social spaces that breathe life into the categories. The notion of "shared social experience" is introduced to embody a focus on reflexivity that goes beyond the subjective position of the author and helps demystify the coexisting subjectivities characteristic of ethnographic fieldwork. It provides a basis for overcoming the exclusive focus on "author," " text," and "discourse" in contemporary postmodernist ethnography, while still conveying important ethnographic information.
"[T]he first truly fresh perspective on Yucatan in recent history…an excellent and unusual book… The author breaks so much new ground, raises so many challenging issues, and brings such a new perspective to the field of Mayan studies, that this is … an extremely important work." -- Richard Wilk of Indiana University