Constructing Alternative Politics: Emerging Memberships and Identities in Mexico City’s New Urban Peripheries


Francisco Morales
PhD Student

Tags: Summer Research Funding

My dissertation research is situated in contemporary explorations of urban social movements, infrastructure, and citizenship, as well as classical anthropological inquiries of everyday life to understand how citizens cobble together a political consciousness in response to precarious urban conditions. I draw upon contemporary discussion of how the production of the city engenders different political formations, and how people’s differing urban practices, particularly their involvement in making the built forms of the city, transform their political subjectivity. My research focuses on a municipality in Mexico City’s metropolitan area that has experienced a radical transformation provoked by the State’s push toward the production of “formal” housing for the working class. This push has induced the creation of massive, single-family housing estates throughout the metropolitan area. The quality of life in the housing estates ranges widely, some providing a comfortable environment for their inhabitants, and others presenting serious deficiencies in services and infrastructure. I study how people inhabit these “formal” spaces, and how they negotiate the many challenges they encounter when they inhabit them. I am particularly interested in how residents respond to the hobbled provision of services in the housing estates, and the forms of protest that emerge as a consequence of the precarious living conditions.      

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