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Migrations in Late Mesoamerica$
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Christopher S. Beekman

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780813066103

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813066103.001.0001

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Migrations in Late Mesoamerica

Migrations in Late Mesoamerica

(p.1) 1 Migrations in Late Mesoamerica
Migrations in Late Mesoamerica

Christopher S. Beekman

University Press of Florida

This chapter addresses recent research that identifies migration as a specific form of human movement in which social groups move into new social contexts. Migration is inherently disruptive to people’s lives, and it occurs embedded within political, economic, or social processes that make it highly context-specific. I discuss the history of theory in migration research, including recent shifts away from a concern with ethnicity in favour of communities of practice. Late Mesoamerica is a data-rich environment for the study of migration within its social context. The Classic period saw regional political systems that extended their reach economically or militarily and frequently had a demographic component. The widespread disruption of the Epiclassic or Terminal Classic periods included environmental change, political collapse, and a major reorganization of the social landscape. The Postclassic witnessed the re-emergence of complex societies claiming descent from migrant populations. The contributions to this volume come from many different disciplines and assess the timing, causes, perceptions, and impacts of migrations across a variety of social contexts. Political disruption, environmental change, and migration are frequently interrelated in ways reminiscent of our world today.

Keywords:   Communities of practice, Ethnicity, Migration, Theory, Mesoamerica, Epiclassic, Postclassic

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