Diversity characterises the people of Oaxaca, Mexico. Within a city of half a million, residents are rising against traditional barriers of race and class, defining new gender roles and expanding access for the disabled. In this ethnography of the city, Higgins and Coen explore how these activities fit into the ordinary daily lives of the people of Oaxaca. The authors focus their attention on groups which are often marginalised - the urban poor, female prostitutes, artists and intellectuals - and blend portraits of and comments by group memebers with their own ethnographic observations. The authors reveal how such issues as racism, sexism, sexuality and spirituality as well class struggle play out in people's daily lives and in grassroots political activism.
Michael James Higgins is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Northern Colorado. Tanya L. Coen is Co-Director of Zocalero Creative Cultural Productions in San Francisco.