Accepted paper:

Neoliberalism, technology, and music in Yucatan

Author:

Gabriela Vargas-Cetina (Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan)

Paper short abstract:

In this paper I look at neoliberalism as the larger context within which music and technology come together in the hands of musicians and music fans, in Yucatan, Mexico.

Paper long abstract:

Starting in the 1980s, Mexico increasingly opened its national economy to foreign investors, selling national industries until then run by the post-revolutionary State to private bidders. The economic reforms that made this possible also opened the commercial borders, so that commodities of all kinds could come in and reach local markets and local buyers. Music-related commodities, in particular, quickly flodded the local markets throughout the country. Ghetto blasters, recorded cds, Hi Fi systems and music instruments drove down an incipient national industry of hi fi products, since those made abroad were cheaper and generally better. In Yucatan, the new massive influx of music products transformed the soundscapes and changed musicians and music lovers' outlook. With time, the opening of frontiers has extended to the musicians themselves, as foreign nationals are now regular part of the Yucatan system of orchestras and ensembles. In this paper I look at neoliberalism as the larger context within which music and technology come together in the hands of musicians and music fans in the state of Yucatan, and particularly in the city of Mérida, the state capital. I propose that it is important to take into account this larger context because it can help us see constraints and connections that we would miss otherwise.

panel P37
Anthropology's obsession with neo-liberalism (EN)