COMPARATIVE URBANIZATION

 

I.          The Latin American City and Theories of Underdevelopment

            A.            Urban Giantism and Regional Development

            B.            Squatter Settlements-Rural-Urban Migration

            C.            Theories of Underdevelopment: The Impact of Colonialism

            D.            U.S.-Latin America: Comparisons

 

Required Readings:

            1.            Macionis – Parrillo: 362-404

           

 

Essay Questions

 

A.  Urban Giantism and Regional Development

 

1.         It is often asserted that the conditions, which both create and continue to support Latin America's urban giantism serves to retard the development of the surrounding rural hinterland.  Future-planning efforts should focus on a nation's hinterland to counterbalance the influence of urban giantism?  Discuss the pros and cons of "urban giantism" in the context "of the wholesome development" of entire nations.

 

2.         Urban primacy (giantism) is emphatic in developing nations, mainly because of the past colonial presence.  Elaborate on this statement.

 

B.  Squatter Settlements-Rural-Urban Migration

 

3.         In 1960, greater Sao Paulo’s population was 3.8 million.  This was the largest metropolis in Brazil, indeed, in all of South America.  Today, Sao Paulo has a population of 20.0 million. Since 1970, some 30m Brazilians- that’s about the population of Canada or 8 Houston SMSA's- have moved to Brazilian cities, pushed out by mechanized agriculture or lured by bright lights and hopes of a better life. Millions more will follow, and, of course, not just in Brazil.  How are all these newcomers to the cities to be housed, put to work, educated and provided with public services?

 

4.         Briefly, describe the process by which migrants select residences in Latin American cities. How are their subsequent residential moves affected by family size and socioeconomic status?

 

5.         The growth of peripheral squatter settlements constitute the most dramatic visual evidence of rapid urban growth in developing countries, and reflects urban vigor more than urban breakdown.  It has been suggested squatter settlements make several contributions to city development.  Briefly discuss these contributions.

 

 

 

C. Theories of Underdevelopment: The Impact of Colonialism

 

6.         What causes “underdevelopment?”

 

7.            Describe the general theories that explain “the condition of underdevelopment”.

 

8.            Theories of underdevelopment focus on two concepts: 1) economic development, the degree to which entrepreneurial propensity is mobilized; or 2) personality and behavior.  Colonialists established a master/servant relationship, which left a severe, inhibiting psychological mark on the indigenous population.  What do you think of these two theories?  Which of them do you support-refute?

 

9.         The purposes of colonialism was to provide a ready dumping ground for products generated by the mother country, to withdraw the colonized country’s rich natural resources, and to access their ready supply of cheap labor.  Comment.

 

10.       The end of colonial rule was neither “voluntary,” nor were the countries left “peaceful and united.”  Colonial policy was based on the simple dictum: divide and rule.  The example of India jumps to mind immediately, where playing upon religious division led to the splintering of the sub-continent during the independence struggle.  Do you think "colonialism" has produced/provided anything useful? 

 

11.       Briefly explain two of the following theories: Modernization, Dependency, Interventionist.

 

12.       Explain Jane Jacob’s theory.

 

13.            Describe the internal layout of the Muslim house.

 

14.       The internal layout of Indian cities is governed by religion and caste.  What religions, what castes govern this layout.  Discuss.

 

D.  U.S. - Latin American Comparisons

 

15.       By 1890 the U.S. frontier had vanished.  Why does the frontier still survive in Latin America today after more than five centuries of settlement?  What are the reasons for these differences between the two parts of the Americas?

 

16.       The different courses taken by the two halves of the Americas since their European colonization is one of history’s bigger puzzles.  Why, from humble and inauspicious beginnings, should the predominantly English colonization of North America have produced a democratic, industrial superpower, while the earlier, far more glamorous and seemingly promising Iberian conquest, farther south, bequeathed a Latin America that languishes in poverty and authoritarianism?

 

17.       The U.S. and Mexico already have plenty in common: colonial pasts, civil war, a 2,000-mile frontier, two-thirds of a name (Mexico is formally called Estados Unidos Mexicanos), a federal structure, ethnic diversity-not to mention millions of people of Mexican origin north of the border, equivalent to perhaps 20% of Mexico’s population.  The similarities, however, pale into insignificance beside the gulf in living standards.  Why is this the case given that Mexico was not always the poor neighbor (look at the opulent monuments left by the Aztecs and their Spanish conquerors)?  By the early 19th century, however, Mexico’s income per head was just under half that of the United States.  Now it is less than a quarter.  What happened?

 

 

Short Answer Questions

 

1.         Define the terms:  “Law of the Indies,” “encomiendas,” “primate city,” “demographic transition,” “over urbanization.”

 

2.         Define the terms:  “dual cities,” and “apartheid.”

 

3.         Define the terms:  “bustee,” “special economic zones,” “a rooftop civilization,” “autocratic government,” the transmigration program,” “Edokko and Kaisha,” “Kampongs.”

 

4.         The most important trading post on the China coast is ______________________?