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Streets, Bedrooms, and Patios The Ordinariness of Diversity in Urban Oaxaca by Michael James Higgins, Tanya L. Coen

Streets, Bedrooms, and Patios The Ordinariness of Diversity in Urban Oaxaca



Streets, Bedrooms, and Patios The Ordinariness of Diversity in Urban Oaxaca by Michael James Higgins, Tanya L. Coen

Diversity characterizes the people of Oaxaca, Mexico. Within this city of half a million, residents are rising against traditional barriers of race and class, defining new gender roles, and expanding access for the disabled. In this rich ethnography of the city, Michael Higgins and Tanya Coen explore how these activities fit into the ordinary daily lives of the people of Oaxaca. Higgins and Coen focus their attention on groups that are often marginalized-the urban poor, transvestite and female prostitutes, discapacitados (the physically challenged), gays and lesbians, and artists and intellectuals. Blending portraits of and comments by group members with their own ethnographic observations, the authors reveal how such issues as racism, sexism, sexuality, spirituality, and class struggle play out in the people's daily lives and in grassroots political activism. By doing so, they translate the abstract concepts of social action and identity formation into the actual lived experiences of real people.


What is remarkably powerful about this book is the fantastic humanity of its descriptions, feelings, characters, relationships, etc... At certain occasions it was amazingly impossible for me to put the book down: I could not help but want to know more. Jean Muteba Rahier, Associate Professor of Anthropology and African-New World Studies, Florida International University

About the Author

Michael James Higgins is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Northern Colorado. Tanya L. Coen is Co-Director of Zocalero Creative Cultural Productions in San Francisco.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st January 2000


Michael James Higgins, Tanya L. Coen

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University of Texas Press


322 pages


Ethnic studies
Gay & Lesbian studies
Ethical issues: prostitution & sex industry



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