Don Teo's expulsion: Property regimes, moral economies, and ejido reform

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Through a case study of an ejido (communal landholding) land eviction in Yucatán, Mexico, this article examines the ways in which land is converted into a socially regulating mechanism. An ejido member was evicted because he failed to fulfill his labor obligations and failed to maintain a moral responsibility toward his community. In the transition from communal land tenure to privatization, the moral ideologies that undergird property regimes matter as much as how individual and collective land rights are imagined and practiced. This analysis offers a critique of neoliberal policies such as ejido reform that attempt to impose a Western model of maximized profit and individual responsibility. It also provides another explanation for the continued existence of ejidos after ejido reform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-169
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010


  • Ejido
  • Maya
  • Mexico
  • Moral economy
  • Property regimes


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