Becoming a maya woman: Beauty pageants at the intersection of indigeneity, gender and class in quetzaltenango, Guatemala

Elisabet Dueholm Rasch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Indigenous beauty pageants can be seen as a way of re-appropriating indigenous identity. This article approaches beauty pageants as being situated in multiple systems of power at four levels of contestation: (1) reproducing gender relations and creating new professional and political opportunities; (2) constituting a site for cultural and political agency and delimiting the ways to 'be a Maya woman'; (3) reproducing class relations in terms of access to the event and contributing to social awareness of beauty queens; (4) as a social event consolidating (gender) relations within the family. The findings are based on longitudinal (2002-14) ethnographic fieldwork in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-156
JournalJournal of Latin American Studies
Volume52
Issue number1
Early online date10 Sep 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020

Keywords

  • Agency
  • Beauty pageants
  • Gender
  • Guatemala
  • Indigenous identity

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