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Robert Crosnoe, Chair CLA 3.306, Mailcode A1700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6300

Spring 2007

SOC 338M • Politics and Culture of Contemporary Mexico - W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
46295 W
9:00 AM-12:00 PM
SZB 323

Course Description

This course will be taught jointly to a common syllabus by professors at UT-Austin and Dallas respectively -- using real time video-conferencing facilities at each site. Many classes will comprise specialist video lectures offered by specialists at either site or directly from Mexico and elsewhere in the US. Therefore, in combination with the seminar format design, this will require that students participate in a single three-hour session each week. No student will be admitted unless s/he can participate in the whole session. Up to twenty places will be available at both each site, where the named instructor will be responsible for anchoring the course. That professor will be fully available to students in Dallas and Austin respectively, and will be responsible for assigning grades in consultation with the counterpart instructor. The course offers an introduction to the contemporary Mexican political system and will focus primarily upon the ways in which political change and democratization are recasting the political and civic culture of contemporary Mexico. After an overview of the political and economic backdrop of the middle and late twentieth century, the course will explore the intersection between economics and political opening, and the impact of Free Trade Agreement and globalization. In order to assess the profound changes that are underway in Mexico's political and civic cultures, several major arenas of political life will be analyzed: the three principal branches of federal government; and the so-called "Fourth Estate "of the media. In addition, various other lenses will be used to shed light on these changing cultures: namely, the bi-national relationship post September 11 2001, and the growing transnational family linkages with Mexican and Mexican origin households in the US; the shifting nature of social and community mobilization (including radical groups) and how these impact upon class and political identity and citizenship; and changing gender relations and equity of opportunity for women relative to men. The course will give special attention to how these issues impact upon the United States and vice versa. Students will be assessed on the bases of a research paper and class participation. Recommended course texts (to buy) are: Camp, Roderic Ai. 2002 (4th Edition) Politics in Mexico; and Oxford University Press and Kevin Middlebrook and Eduardo Zepeda, Eds. 2003. Confronting Development: Assessing Mexico's Economic and Social Policy Challenges. Stanford University Press -- both in paperback.

Contains a substantial writing component and fulfills part of the basic education requirement in writing.


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