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The Practice of Autonomy in the Age of Neoliberalism: Strategies from Indigenous Women’s Organising in Mexico

Maylei Blackwell

2012 Mexico, South America

Bridging the ways in which scholars have looked at the co-option of both gender and cultural rights through neoliberal governance in Latin America, this article will examine how gender has been utilised by the state as a discourse of governmentality in order to regulate indigenous subjects. Moreover, the article will explore how indigenous women activists in Mexico are creating a practice of autonomy as a vital strategy to move beyond rights discourse and challenge the ways in which neoliberal states have selectively co-opted social movement demands. Through their grassroots forms of consultation, indigenous women activists shift the concept of autonomy as a right granted by the state to a practice of decolonisation that is part of everyday life and community sociality.

indigenous women, autonomy, indigenous rights, Mexico, governmentality