Geographies of state power, protest, and women's political identity formation in Michoacán, Mexico

Lise K. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Women's narratives of protest in three indigenous communities of Michoacán, Mexico, after the massive electoral protest of 1988-1989 indicate that the jurisdictional positioning of these communities created paths and spaces of protest that shaped the formation of gendered political identities and, over time, the politicization of ethnicity in the region. The women of Cherán played a dominant and consistent role in opposition electoral mobilizations in ways that allowed them to confront traditional gendered hierarchies that had cast them as apolitical. In contrast, although women in the communities of Pichátaro and Tacuro also actively engaged the electoral opposition, they did not experience profound gendered transformation. Due largely to the jurisdictional positions of their communities, they instead politicized their ethnicity much more forcefully in the wake of electoral mobilization. Thus, race and gender as nonessential categories intersect differently through space in ways that are often crucial to inquiry within political geography. Exploring local and regional patterns of political identity formation through a feminist lens elucidates the interconnected geographies of state power and protest, as well as the geographical constraints on indigenous rights and democracy in contemporary Mexico.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)366-389
Number of pages24
JournalAnnals of the Association of American Geographers
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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