Socio-economic Status, Territory and Political Participation in Twenty-First- Century Mexico




political participation, socio‑economic status, territory, Mexico


This article is built on the reflections that the authors have had during their latest research on political participation in several municipalities of Mexico. Thus, based on the ethnographies conducted between 2006 and 2016, mainly in the town of Xico (Veracruz state), we set up as analyzing unities specific political interactions (including patronizing) among Mexican citizens within the five types recognized by Social Sciences: voting, campaigning, contacting political officials, working on public affairs and talking about politics. On this basis, we explore the articulation of the aforementioned interactions and, more specifically, of the roles adopted by the interacting citizens as identity markers linking these people in a highlighted way with a series of socio‑economic and socio‑territorial features, dimensions that, ultimately, turn out inseparable from the existing power relations in the local societies. In conclusion, we are of the opinion that, together with indicators of income, education, professional category or living nearby territory, it can be affirmed that the political behavior in Mexico is shown as both socio‑economic indicator and socio‑territorial belonging not because parties represent interests of class, but because there are well defined spheres of political behavior depending on the socio‑economic stratum and the socio‑territorial belonging of the individual.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Ángel B. Espina Barrio, University of Salamanca

Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Salamanca (Spain). Research Member at the Instituto de Iberoamérica (University of Salamanca). Director of the Inter‑University Doctorate Program in Anthropology of Ibero‑America (80 doctors trained) and of the official Master adapted to the EHEA in the same specialty (200 graduates). President of the Spanish Society of Applied Anthropology, he is the Academic Director of multiple studies, book publications (25), international congresses (26), doctoral theses (65), international university networks (3), etc., all of them focused on the cultures of Spain and Latin America. He has taught postgraduate courses in the aforementioned field as a visiting professor at more than thirty‑five universities. Among his books are Freud and Lévi‑Strauss (translated into Portuguese and Chinese) and Handbook of Cultural Anthropology (translated into Portuguese), for which he has received several academic awards. Overall, he wrote 37 book chapters and published 47 articles. Director of Revista Euroamericana de Antropoligía (REA). Member of the Royal European Academy of Doctors (RAED).

Fernando Gutiérrez-Chico, University of Salamanca

PhD in Social Sciences with research focus on Anthropology of Sports (University of Salamanca, 2020); MA in Anthropology of Ibero‑America (University of Salamanca, 2016); BA in Journalism (Basque Country University, 2012). He is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Salamanca (Spain) under the “Margarita Salas” scholarship sponsored by the Spanish state; guest lecturer at the BA in Spanish Culture and Civilization at the University of Northern Iowa (USA). Research Fellow at the group Sport, Culture and Society (DEPCyS) at the University of La Laguna (Canary Islands, Spain). He has conducted an extensive fieldwork research in the Basque Country, with particular focus on the football team Athletic Bilbao.

Iñigo González-Fuente, University of Cantabria

PhD in Social Sciences with research focus on Political Anthropology (University of Salamanca, 2008); MA in Latin American Studies (University of Salamanca, 2003); BA in Political Sciences (Basque Country University, 1997). He is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Cantabria (Spain); guest lecturer at the MA in Anthropology of Ibero‑America at the University of Salamanca (Spain). He has conducted an extensive fieldwork research in Latin America, with particular focus on Mexico.


Badie B., Hermet G., Política comparada, México 1993.

Curtis J., Spencer J., “Anthropology and the Politics,” in R. Fardon, J. Glendhill (eds), The SAGE Handbook of Social Anthropology, London 2012, pp. 168‑182. DOI:

Davidson W.B., Cotte P.R., “Sense of Community and Political Participation,” Journal of Community Psychology, vol. 17, no. 2 (1989), pp. 119‑125,‑6629(198904)17:2<119::AID‑JCOP2290170203>3.0.CO;2‑C. DOI:<119::AID-JCOP2290170203>3.0.CO;2-C

Formisano R.P., “The Concept of Political Culture,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History, vol. 31, no. 3 (2001), pp. 393‑426, DOI:

Fröhling O., Gallaher C., Jones J.P., “Imagining the Mexican Election,” Antipode, vol. 33, no. 1 (2001), pp. 1‑16. DOI:

Giménez G., “Cultura, territorio y migraciones. Aproximaciones teóricas,” Alteridades, vol. 11, no. 22 (2001), pp. 5‑14.

González‑Fuente I., “Community, Cargo System, and Social Project. An Analytical Proposal of Local Societies in Mexico,” AIBR. Journal of Iberoamerican Anthroology, vol. 6, no. 1 (2011), pp. 81‑104, DOI:

González‑Fuente I., Paleta G., “Discursos y prácticas del Buen Convivir en un contexto de post‑violencia en Michoacán (México),” OBETS. Revista de Ciencias Sociales, vol. 13, no. 2 (2019), pp. 407‑436, DOI:

Gough I., “Economic Institutions and the Satisfaction of Human Needs,” Journal of Economic Issues, vol. 28, no. 1 (1994), pp. 25‑66, DOI:

Hagene T., González‑Fuente I., “Deep Politics: Community Adaptations to Political Clientelism in Twenty‑First‑Century Mexico,” Latin American Research Review, vol. 51, no. 2 (2016), pp. 3‑23, DOI:

Holzner C.A., “The Poverty of Democracy: Neoliberal Reforms and Political Participation of the Poor in Mexico,” Latin American Politics and Society, vol. 49, no. 2 (2007), pp. 87‑122,‑2456.2007.tb00408.x. DOI:

Lazar S., “Personalist Politics, Clientelism and Citizenship: Local Elections in El Alto, Bolivia,” Bulletin of Latin American Research, vol. 23, no. 2 (2004), pp. 228‑243,‑9856.2004.00106.x. DOI:

Lomnitz L., “Horizontal and Vertical Relations and the Social Structure of Urban Mexico,” Latin American Research Review, vol. 17, no. 2 (1982), pp. 51‑74, DOI:

Lomnitz L. Adler de, Salazar R., Adler I., Symbolism and Ritual in a One‑party Regime: Unveiling Mexico’s Political Culture, transl. by S.A. Wagner, Tucson 2010.

Magaloni B., Voting for Autocracy: Hegemonic Party Survival and its Demise in Mexico, Cambridge 2006. DOI:

Montanbeault F., “Overcoming Clientelism Through Local Participatory Institutions in Mexico: What Type of Participation?,” Latin American Politics and Society, vol. 53, no. 1 (2011), pp. 91‑124,‑2456.2011.00110.x. DOI:

Seffer K., “Clientelism a Stumbling Block for Democratization? Lessons from Mexico,” Latin American Perspectives, vol. 42, no. 5 (2015), pp. 198‑215, https// DOI:

van Deth J., “A Conceptual Map of Political Participation,” Acta Politica, vol. 49, no. 3 (2014), p. 349‑367, DOI:




How to Cite

Barrio, Ángel B. Espina, Fernando Gutiérrez-Chico, and Iñigo González-Fuente. 2022. “Socio-Economic Status, Territory and Political Participation in Twenty-First- Century Mexico”. Politeja 19 (6(81):103-21.