Santa Muerte and the politics of malleability : the angel of Death in Mexico City
McDonald, Kathryn Louis
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This thesis explores and critiques mainstream narratives of Santa Muerte, a marginalized Mexican spiritual figure, through ethnographic data collected in spaces of Santa Muerte spiritual commerce and devotion in Mexico City during the summer of 2015, with an emphasis on Barrio Tepito, Colonia Morelos and Mercado de Sonora. This thesis will argue that Santa Muerte’s malleability, particularly with regards to gender; the embrace of physicality, and its followers’ attitude towards death, demonstrate Santa Muerte’s appeal as a spiritual tool, particularly for marginalized segments of Mexican society.