Desempeñando el papel revolucionario: nationalism and culture in Mexico, 1920-1940

Server, Steven

Some scholars suggest that Mexican culture in the wake of its bloody Mexican Revolution
was completely manufactured by the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) and
scholar José Vasconcelos for the sole purpose of creating a Gramscian political hegemony
and a cultural “common sense.” This article offers a different, more pluralistic, understanding
of the creation of Mexican national identity in the aftermath of the Mexican
Revolution. Indeed, average Mexicans created a cultural milieu that existed outside the
bounds set by the state. State-employed muralists disputed politics and the appropriate
role of state power in the new Mexican culture, while films of the Mexican Golden
Age, beginning in the 1930s, reflected conservative ideologies inconsistent with more
progressive, state-favored philosophies. Tourist materials and cookbooks, created for
American audiences, also tempered the cultural norms favored the PRI by casting them
as quaint or as kitsch, rather than as the full-fledged expression of an organizing ideology.


Also Published In

The Journal of Politics and Society

More About This Work

Academic Units
Helvidius Group
Helvidius Group of Columbia University
Published Here
November 1, 2014