Masculinity and Social Visibility: Migration, State Spectacle, and the Making of the Mexican Nation

How to Cite

Cohen, D. (2005). Masculinity and Social Visibility: Migration, State Spectacle, and the Making of the Mexican Nation. Estudios Interdisciplinarios De América Latina Y El Caribe, 16(1). Retrieved from


Visibility: this term has had a formidable presence in feminist scholarship. [1] In the 1970s, feminist scholars and activists clamored both for a specifically "women's" history and for women to be written back into the history of the nation more generally, arguing that history and nationhood are inextricably linked. Their goal was to make women's participation in the nation and in history known and visible. While feminists subsequently realized that writing women into official history did not automatically make us visible or ensure our national belonging, the reverse did occur: we assumed the visibility of men. In advocating for women's inclusion, we mistakenly assumed that all men were equally visible as citizen-subjects and that exclusion from the nation was based only on gender. This article calls that assumption into question. Using as a yardstick what I term social visibility, I will explore how the Mexican state meted out visibility and drew men formerly seen as outside its bounds into the recognized sphere of the nation. This uneven process of incorporation became a way of consolidating and legitimating both the conception of the nation put forth by the revolutionary state and also itself as the primary –if not sole-- actor authorized to speak on the nation's behalf.

Copyright © 2012-2013 Estudios Interdisciplinarios de América Latina y el Caribe.
ISSN 0792-7061
Editores:  Ori Preuss; Nahuel Ribke
Instituto Sverdlin de Historia y Cultura de América Latina, Escuela de Historia
Universidad de Tel Aviv, Ramat Aviv,
P.O.B. 39040 (69978), Israel.
Correo electrónico:
Fax: 972-3-6406931