Irish Communities Networks in the Center of Mexico at the Beginning of the Nineteenth Century

Sunday, June 26, 2016: 10:45 AM-12:15 PM
56 Barrows (Barrows Hall)
Francisco Javier Velazquez-Sagahon, University of Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico
Nicolas Nava-Nava, University of Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico
Domingo Herrera-Gonzalez, University of Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico
This work presents the progress of the research oriented to analyze the formation of irish immigrants communities in Mexico during the first half of the nineteenth century, exploring their collaborative processes in the formation of economic and business networks that have a major economic role in the present. The research is based on the theory of "Emergency organizations and Markets" by John F. Padgett of the University of Chicago and Walter W. Powell from Stanford University (2012). This theory proposes as a methodology the historical review of interactions in a social system, to understand the social networks from a variety of perspectives, whether economic, social or political. The research primarily will used more than 5,000 original documents like letters, contracts, receipts, checks, promissory notes and other commercial communications written that comprise the "Historical Background of Irish Immigrants in Guanajuato" which is unexplored and is tucked away in the historical archive of the University of Guanajuato. The knowledge that will generate this research will advance the understanding of collaborative social networks that have defined the identity of the economic, social and political actors in the state of Guanajuato during the beginning of this twenty-first century.

On the basis of the theoretical reference described of Padgett and Powell, the methodological strategy is to draw a network of actors, where each link represents some kind of communication or interaction in any of the economic, political or kindships approaches (Padgett, 2010). The next part of the analysis go beyond identify nodes, relationships and planes in the network. The theoretical proposal assumes that over time, the relationships between nodes, are transforming the entire network generating new nodes or removing some, all on a reciprocal basis between the planes. To this process the authors call "Autocatalysis", because these transformation processes are given internal, without the intervention of any external agent and in addition do not alter significantly the features of each node separately but what is changed is the network as a whole (Page, 2013). This is synthesized with its premise: "In the short run actors make relations, but in the long run relations make actors" (Padgett and Powell, 2012).

The results show how these networks have influenced the formation of large mining companies of gold and silver settled in Guanajuato, as well as the formation of the first Banks of Mexico and its relationship with the new political processes in the context of the Independent Mexico of the nineteenth century.


Padgett J.F. & Powell W.W. (2012) The Emergence of Organizations and Markets, Princenton University Press, New Jersey.

Padgett J.F. (2010) “Open Elite? Social Mobility, Marriage, and Family in Florence, 1282–1494”, Renaissance Quarterly 63: 357–411, University of Chicago Press.

Page S.E. (2013) The Emergence of Organizations and Markets, Book Review Administrative Science Quarterly 58 (2)304–306, Cornell University.