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Serrano Communities and Subaltern Negotiation Strategies: The Local Politics of Opium Production in Mexico, 1940–2020

Morris, N; (2020) Serrano Communities and Subaltern Negotiation Strategies: The Local Politics of Opium Production in Mexico, 1940–2020. The Social History of Alcohol and Drugs , 34 (1) pp. 48-81. 10.1086/707589. Green open access

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Abstract

This article examines why Mexican peasants cultivate opium poppies, and argues that their cultural, political, and economic motivations for engaging in this illicit activity suggest an affinity with Alan Knight’s typology of the serrano peasant. Building on this comparison, I identify three strategies—“legalism,” “weapons of the weak,” and the threat or use of violence—that poppy farmers use to mitigate the dangers of participation in the drug trade, including attacks by state forces and various criminal organizations. The article concludes with a discussion of the ways poppy farmers have historically employed these strategies, and the factors that determine when and where they are used.

Type: Article
Title: Serrano Communities and Subaltern Negotiation Strategies: The Local Politics of Opium Production in Mexico, 1940–2020
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1086/707589
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/707589
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of History
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10100072
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