The skewing of history in Mexico

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Abstract

In this article, I consider the attempt by a group of activists in west Mexico to uncover the history of their town. Attention focuses on how group members understood the genre of history and why they believed that mastering the genre would help to revitalize their community. I also look at the difficulties faced by the group in living up to its own understandings of that genre and particularly in obtaining the right kinds of evidence to substantiate history. I show that the genre of history in this instance was skewed such that the town's history could only be known by persons in more central places, and I conclude by arguing that this linking of knowledge, place, and authority is typical of modern society.

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