In The Mayan in the Mall, J. T. Way traces the creation of modern Guatemala from the 1920s to the present through a series of national and international development projects. Way shows that, far from being chronically underdeveloped, this nation of stark contrasts-where shopping malls and multinational corporate headquarters coexist with some of the Western Hemisphere's poorest and most violent slums-is the embodiment of globalized capitalism. Using a wide array of historical and contemporary sources, Way explores the multiple intersections of development and individual life, focusing on the construction of social space through successive waves of land reform, urban planning, and economic policy. His explorations move from Guatemala City's poorest neighborhoods and informal economies (run predominantly by women) to a countryside still recovering from civil war and anti-Mayan genocide, and they encompass such artifacts of development as the modernist Pan-American Highway and the postmodern Grand Tikal Futura, a Mayan-themed shopping mall ringed by gated communities and shantytowns. Capitalist development, Way concludes, has dramatically reshaped the country's physical and social landscapes-engendering poverty, ethnic regionalism, and genocidal violence-and positioned Guatemala as a harbinger of globalization's future.
J. T. Way is Assistant Professor of Latin American History at Georgia State University.
List of Illustrations Acknowledgments ix Introduction. Grand Tikal Futura: "Put1. "Like Sturdy Little Animals": Making the Modern Anti-Modern, 1920s-1944ting the Mayan in the Mall" 1 1. "Like Sturdy Little Animals": Making the Modern Anti-Modern, 1920s-1944 13 2. Chaos and Rationality: The Dialectic of the Guatemalan Ghetto 41 3. Oficios de su Sexo: Gender, the Informal Economy, and Anticommunist Development 67 4. Making the Immoral Metropolis: Infrastructure, Economics, and War 94 5. Executing Capital: Green Revolution, Genocide, and the Transition to Neoliberalism 124 6. A Society of Vendors: Contradictions and Everyday Life in the Guatemalan Market 152 7. Cuatro Gramos Norte: Fragmentation and Concentration in the Wake of Victory 181 Appendix. A Grass-roots List of Transnationals in Guatemala, circa 1978 210 Notes 217 Glossary 277 Bibliography 279 Index 301