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Week 1 Notes LAST1010-03
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HIST 2112 - US History Since Reconstruction of 1878
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lily Taffet on Tuesday September 13, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to LAST1010-03 at Tulane University taught by Amy Medvick in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 18 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Latin American Culture in Latin american studies at Tulane University.
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Date Created: 09/13/16
8/31/16 What is Latin America? How do you define it? A mix of cultures/”races” mestizajé/mesticagem Geographically-tricky Euro Colonization (Spain, Portugal, France) Language (Spanish, Portuguese, French, creoles (mixture of languages), indigenous, African (Yoruba—liturgical language (religious language)) Immigration from colonizing countries as well as: China, India, Japan, Lebanon, Syria, Eastern Europe, and Italy. Migration Ethnography A research method where you go somewhere and hang out and live and integrate yourself in that space and culture. Then, you write about it. 9/1/16 Overview of Latin American Studies What is Latin American Studies o Interdisciplinary o Try’s to understand issues within the region by studying the region as a whole rather than from a single disciplinary approach o US attitudes and interests and biases can influence Latin American studies. Origins and Development of LAS In 1800’s we had advance in communication and transportation. This opened up the possibility to learn about different areas around the world and sparked curiosity. After WWI governments realized that they didn’t know anything about other cultures that thy were allied with and fighting against. WWII 1930’s-regional studies appear in universities. The idea was to provide information about other regions that would be useful to governments. The Cold War A lot of places that had been colonized by Europe were starting to gain their independence (India, Asia, Africa, Caribbean). Things started to get very unstable and there were new nations that didn’t know how to organize themselves. At the time US and Russia were superpowers fighting for colonies Education and research became an important part of the Cold War in order for the United States to understand the origins of instability and be able to act in way that would sway the new nations to adopt capitalism. We see a paradoxical relationship between often left-leaning scholars, who are sympathetic to the individuals and movements they study, and the State Department objectives to provide national security and Protect US interests in the region. National Defense of Education Act (1958) Trying to foster education-they thought it was imperative to Us security. WE start to see financial support for Area Studies and Foreign Language Studies. This was all in the interest of security and stability and economic vitality of the United States. Cuban Revolution (1959) People are unsure what the United States is trying to do by involving themselves in other regions governments-good motives or bad motives? Cuban revolution was an intellectual and goe-political turning point It brought the Cold War onto American soil The revolution prompted Kennedys Alliance for Progress-a 10 year plan to establish economic cooperation between North and South America. Hen tried to create a positive image of the Unites States so they would remain capitalist. He mimicked language that revolutionists in Cuba were using at the time. o US would offer economic and technical aid in order to thwart a possible revolution. o He would work to get peasants more land so they weren’t starving-but not doing huge sweeping changes that were supposed to happen in Cuba o –refusing to deal with dictators in the region-this didn’t last for long. o Promoting te Idea that the US was a society to emulate rather than fear or despise o A lot of Americans were put on the ground of Latin America to foster relationships and immerse themselves in the culture. o Turning point for changes in academic culture-both methodological and ethical/political United States was afraid they would be in the minority and all south American nations would join together and start a revolution. Methodological Changes Area Studies were trying to come up with practical answers to solve these local problems using knowledge of their culture. Throwing out all traditional social sciences methods of research Scholars were “on the ground”-ethnography o They acquired linguistic fluency o Established relationships o Became sensitive to the cultures Scholars began to use any means necessary to gather information o Didn’t stick to one discipline o Used new modes of understanding o Used qualitative and quantitative research Ethical/Political Changes Scholars became sympathetic to populations and movements they were studying and actually became quite critical of US policy Many initial Latin Americanists were actually inspired by the success of the Cuban Revolution. Even scholars who weren’t left-leaning, the intimacy and relationships they shared (created by field research, and linguistic fluency) inspired sympathy for their subjects’ political struggles o Their was a new aversion to norms and general understandings of society based on US models. People start to question things like gender norms and roles Summary: Characteristics of Latin American Studies Neoliberalism Economic theory and trend that became dominant in the 1990s in Latin America. Economic liberalism (free market, minimal government regulation) Laissez faire Black-Latin America Leading the Learning Curve This book outlines the three intellectual trends and theories within the study of Latin America and Latin American studies: o “Blame the Iberians” o “Blame the Latin Americans” o “Blame the United States” Blame the Iberians-Black “Latin America Leading the Learning Curve” Historical-cultural approach Claims that historical and cultural factors are primary determinants of contemporary issues Corporatism-model drawn from medieval catholic though, involving intense hierarchy in politically active groups. Cultural causation- the idea that concepts and systems such as democracy and equality are not universal values and that other cultures might prefer other systems Blame the Latin Americans-Black “Latin America Leading the Learning Curve” Development/modernization theory- the idea that Latin American problems stem from underdevelopment or a lack of modernization (With this theory, the US represents the ideal model of a modern and developed country). o Industrialization, urbanization, technologization , foreign investment and democratic elections are seen as ushering in economic prosperity and political stability. Blame the United States-Black “Latin America Leading the Learning Curve” Dependency theory-Latin America receives aid from powerful nations but in receiving that aid will never become more powerful. Latin America is wrapped up in a dependent economic relationship with foreign powers. o Important because this theory was developed by Latin American theorists Spin offs of Blame the United States Central-Periphery model: A powerful nation like the United States has its own hierarchy and the people at the top of that hierarchy draw resources from their own nation and then use those resources to nurture the elites of less powerful nations and then those elites draw resources from their own nation and share that with the powerful nations. o Leaders in both countries vs common citizens/poor World Systems theory o Same as central-periphery model. But while the first model focuses on political situation, word systems is focusing more emphasis on non political leaders and more emphasis on C.E.Os. and businessman and economic relationships that might be happening not directly within the field of government. But same basic concept of that cycle of resources. Recent Intellectual trends in Latin American studies Effort to find common ground between previous theories Shift to studying micro politics and identity. Looking at small situations and seeing how problems pay out in everyday life. Focus on grassroots activism-everyday people who are organizing to contest big superpowers Attempts to study Latin America in the same way we would study society and culture in the US. Looking at how situations in Latin America can help us build a better society.
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