In recent decades scholars have become interested in the nature of daily life and the history of the family. Studies of those subjects in Mexico, although scattered and unsystematic, now constitute an important body of work. Large questions, such as the formation of a national identity, biological and cultural mestizaje, changes in social organization, and the preservation of traditions and ancestral beliefs, can be better understood if considered from the perspective of family structure, manifestations of daily life, and the relationship between the public and the private. This essay seeks to assess the recent advances in these fields.
Public festivals played an important role in the social and political life of the baroque era. In New Spain, the authorites used the celebrations as a way to demonstrate the power and prestige of the Crown. Over the years, the Spaniards became less inclined to participate in these public festivals, preferring instead other types of diversion. The public festivals increasingly became part of popular culture, leading the elites to abandon what had once been a privileged space for them.