Mexico City as an Urban Laboratory: Oscar Lewis, the “Culture of Poverty” and the Transnational History of the Slum

  title={Mexico City as an Urban Laboratory: Oscar Lewis, the “Culture of Poverty” and the Transnational History of the Slum},
  author={Emilio de Antu{\~n}ano},
  journal={Journal of Urban History},
  pages={813 - 830}
This paper examines U.S. anthropologist Oscar Lewis’s research in Mexico City in the 1950s to reflect on how urban poverty has been construed in the United States and Latin America in the twentieth century. It asks why Lewis’s early work on rural-urban migration won him praise among scholars of Latin America while his later research on the “culture of poverty” was lambasted across the world—with particular intensity in the United States. Through a careful examination of Lewis’s ethnographic… 
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