Repertoires of Coercion and Market Culture in Nineteenth-Century Buenos Aires Province
International Review of Social History
During the post-Independence period, Buenos Aires province engaged in a republican-authoritarian experiment in which the relations between dominant and subaltern were altered and redefined. The ascent to power of Juan Manuel de Rosas and the federalists meant an increase in the violence meted out by the state against its political and military opponents. On the other hand, the diffusion of a market economy created the basis of contractual relations across a variety of social fields and
... ons. This was true with regard to relations between masters and servants in the household, between officers and soldiers within regiments, between rural residents and justices of the peace, between ranchers and peons at the estancia. Though coercion did not disappear, the power to coerce found limits because of the very expansion of market relations. To address these changes, in their complexity and diversity, this article uses the concept "repertoires of coercion". The concept may be useful to analyze and compare relations of power in multiple social or institutional spaces. In addition, the article addresses the question of the relationship between coercion and market culture, suggesting that in a situation of labor scarcity, and the military mobilization of the subaltern classes, contractualism tends to pervade relations of power, even those previously based upon coercion.