A Mexican Elite Family, 1820-1980
Kinship, Class Culture
Larissa Adler Lomnitz & Marisol Pérez-Lizaur


This book presents the history of the Gomez, an elite family of Mexico that today includes several hundred individuals, plus their spouses and the families of their spouses, all living in Mexico City. Tracing the family from its origins in mid-nineteenth-century Mexico through its rise under the Porfirio Diaz regime and focusing especially on the last three generations, the work shows how the Gomez have evolved a distinctive subculture and an ability to advance their economic interests under changing political and economic conditions. One of the authors' major findings is the importance of the kinship system, particularly the three-generation "grandfamily" as a basic unit binding together people of different generations and different classes.

The authors show that the top entrepreneurs in the family, the direct descendants of its founder, remain the acknowledged leaders of the kin, each one ruling his business as a patron-owner through a network of clienty2Drelatives. Other family members, though belonging to the middle class, identify ideologically with the family leadership and the bourgeoisie, and family values tend to overrule considerations of strictly business interest even among entrepreneurs.