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Globalizing American Studies$
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Brian T. Edwards and Gaonkar Dilip Parameshwar

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780226185064

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226185088.001.0001

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Chronotopes of a Dystopic Nation

Chronotopes of a Dystopic Nation

Cultures of Dependency and Border Crossings in Late Porfirian Mexico

(p.209) [Seven] Chronotopes of a Dystopic Nation
Globalizing American Studies

Claudio Lomnitz

University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines the early formation of the culture of dependent nationalism, a form of historical consciousness that fosters a pragmatic and immoral realism and which justifies private benefits gained from the regretful present with a language of evolutionary transition. It conceives of dependency as a specific condition that emerged in Latin America, when the national economies of those countries were reoriented to the United States and the United States became the guardian of their national credit, a process that began to take shape in the 1870s but which only became a palpable reality by the late 1890s. The chapter also explores the culture of dependency by way of its “chronotopes,” that is, through the ways in which the nation was figured in space and time. Two competing figures are described that emerged in this period. One of these took shape in a new field of international relations, whereas the other was a product of emerging grassroots transnational organization. These two competing spatiotemporal frameworks are a defining characteristic of dependency as a form of historical consciousness.

Keywords:   chronotypes, dependency, immoral realism, transnational organization, evolutionary transition

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