ALEJANDRO AGUDO-SANCHIZ, while a student at Manchester University in Manchester, England, received a grant in July 2002 to aid research on household processes, occupation of territory, and community reproduction among the Chol Maya of Chiapas, Mexico, under the supervision of Dr. John E. Gledhill. Agudo-Sanchiz's aim was to examine how different generations' access to land was determined by the interplay of internal household dynamics and external factors of collectivity. He conducted surveys in three rural settlements that had resulted from territorial expansion throughout the twentieth century. Collecting as many cases as possible in interrelated localities established at different times solved the problem of deciding which sample of households was representative of a particular population at a given time. Multisite inquiry thus facilitated study of the relationship between household formation and modes of land appropriation and tenure. The study confirmed that formal rules of recruitment and residence carried less weight than (re)productive strategies for the optimal use of personnel and resources. Agudo-Sanchiz concluded that co-residence was often a consequence of task-related activities, which he thus took as the defining criterion for the household dimension of domestic groups. Because similar household structures resulted from widely diverse arrangements, survey data were checked against information on the trajectories and decisions of household members. These showed that household arrangements were closely linked to both material and ideological opportunities for, and constraints on, land acquisition, which for younger members depended on the interplay of seniors' decisions and broader forces and relationships affecting the seniors' own access to resources. Nonetheless, as evinced by the various forms of tenure encountered, each new generation adapted to such combinations of factors to devise characteristic modes of territorial expansion.
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Manchester, U. of
Agudo-Sanchiz, Alejandro, Manchester U., Manchester, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Household Processes, Occupation of Territory, and Community Reproduction among the Chol Maya of Chiapas, Mexico,' supervised by Dr. John E. Gledhill