Socio-Economic Indicators and Patron Saints of the Underrepresented: An Analysis of Santa Muerte and Jesus Malverde in Mexico
The large number of saints within Catholicism is a characteristic feature of the religion. In particular, the largely Catholic country of Mexico is well-known for the multitude of patron saints present at all levels of social organization. A brief examination of the patron saints often turned to and revered in particular Mexican communities may be of some assistance in understanding the sociological uses of official and 'unofficial' saints, and help to shed some light on the everyday experiences that members of these groups may face. The popularity of particular 'unofficial' alternative saints in Mexico, such as Santa Muerte and Jesus Malverde, may be understood as indicators of the presence of stressful socio-economic realities in particular regions of the country today, and of the human attempt to control these uncertain situations.
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