1 Founded as the Partido Nacional Revolucionario
or National Revolution-
ary Party) in 1928, it changed its name to the Partido Revolucionario Mexicano
or Revolutionary Mexican Party) in 1938 and then became the
in 1946.
2 Some students of hegemony seem to relish indeterminacy and fragmentation, at
times making their arguments seem opaque to the uninitiated. See Alan Knight,
‘‘Subalterns, Signifiers, and Statistics: Perspectives on Mexican Historiography,’’
Latin American Research Review 37, no. 2 (2002): 136–58, 148–52. For my purposes,
civil society is ‘‘the arena of the politically active citizen’’ that is ‘‘distinct from the
state and with forms and principles of its own.’’ Antonio Gramsci, whose ideas have
influenced notions of postrevolutionary state formation, considered it the ‘‘sphere
of ‘cultural politics’ . . . the church, schools, trade unions, and other organizations
through which the ruling class exercises ‘hegemony’ over society. The hegemony is
vulnerable to contestation in this same realm.’’ William Outhwaite and Tom Bot-
tomore, eds., The Blackwell Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Social Thought (Cam-
bridge: Blackwell, 1993), 75–76.
3 See the seminal essays in Gilbert M. Joseph and Daniel Nugent, eds., Everyday
Forms of State Formation: Revolution and the Negotiation of Rule in Modern Mex-
ico (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1994); Florencia Mallon, Peasant and
Nation: The Making of Postcolonial Mexico and Peru (Berkeley: University of Cal-
ifornia Press, 1995); Anne Rubenstein, Bad Language, Naked Ladies, and Other
Threats to the Nation: A Political History of Comic Books in Mexico (Durham, NC:
Duke University Press, 1998); and Mary Kay Vaughan, Cultural Politics in Revolu-
tion: Teachers, Peasants, and Schools in Mexico, 1930–1940 (Tucson: University of
Arizona, 1997). Knight has left his mark on the historiography of postrevolution-
ary Mexico, writing extensively on what is often termed cultural politics. While he
contributed to Everyday Forms and has criticized structural determinism, he has
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