Publication Date

2009

Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Adrian Sherman

Abstract

This paper examines the colonization of indigenous peoples in what is now referred to as Mexico. In the examination it is revealed that the processes of colonization are still being felt in today’s society. Consequently, this research was performed with the hope of providing solutions for decolonization. The research question presented asks: How does rebuilding the soils of culture start the process of decolonization? Through the examination of authors from colonized societies, an alternative viewpoint is created which reveals the ways which colonialism has transformed itself in the modern era. We are able to see a real life situation of the viewpoints offered by these authors by using the Zapotec community of Santo Tomas Jalieza, in Oaxaca, Mexico as a basis for research. In this community, we are able to see how globalization is imposing a Western monoculture upon the world, destroying the culture of the local people. In order to stop the imposition of this worldwide monoculture, steps were taken towards the preservation of the Zapotec culture and oral histories in Santo Tomas Jalieza. In the process the author was able to see his own position as a colonized person and his conversion into a tool of colonialism and of the dominant culture. Consequently, the use of Participatory Action Research was used to break down the oppressor-oppressed dichotomy, towards co-liberation. The results are that there are steps that can be taken towards the rebuilding of cultures, in which decolonization may be achieved. However, it is the responsibility of each individual people to search for their own solution, which is embedded in their own culture and environment.

Disciplines

Latin American Studies | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Social and Cultural Anthropology

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