Society for Cultural Anthropology
Volunteered - Oral Presentation Session
Do tourists and tourist industry workers have different conceptions of time? If so, how does this affect the construction of personal and social memory? In my analysis, I assert that there exist varying conceptions of time and constructions of memories for different stakeholders working in the spaces surrounding the world-renowned Maya city of Chichén Itzá. Specifically, I argue that there are differences along socioeconomic lines in the ways tourist industry workers conceptualize time and their Yucatec Maya identity within, and in contrast to, nationalist discourses in the service of state-building. This is especially in contrast to the way tourists specifically travel to the site to create an important life event and memory. Following Mignolo’s theory of Eurocentric conceptions of space and time (2002) and Quijano’s assertion that colonialism is constitutive of modernity (1993), I make a broader argument that illustrates the continuities of Eurocentric conceptions of time that manifest themselves in the lives of workers living in the municipality of Tinúm in which Chichén Itzá is situated as a symbol of world heritage and Mexican nationalism.