Women Teachers of Rural Oaxaca
Agency and Empowerment
Mexican maestras (women teachers) became an ubiquitous presence in the countryside following the Mexican Revolution and have continued to make valuable contributions to their students and society over the past century. Dedicated rural teachers are assigned to some of the most remote communities in Mexico, and frequently spend years living away from their homes and families while teaching. Drawing on agentive women's narratives, this ethnographic study explores how the acquisition of schooling and employment empowers maestras to defenderse (take care of themselves and their loved ones), make informed personal decisions, and promote societal change by serving as role models for their students, relatives, and neighbors.
About this Author
Jayne Howell is professor of anthropology and Latin American studies at California State University Long Beach.
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