Category Archives: Week Thirteen

Week 13

For this week, the video by Hanna Dandarell and Cody Alba “Towards an Uncertain Future”. I was impressed by the level of information the video presented, going extremely in depth about a variety of issues and explaining the causes and effects of situations in Latin America. I felt I learned a lot about a variety of situations and concepts that I was previously unaware of, beginning with the concept of making sense of the lack of stability resulting from renewed economic growth.

The first discussed the ideas discussed in Albert Hirschman’s book “Exit, Voice, and Loyalty”. The book aims to describe the behavior of members in a society after a crisis. Hirschman states that citizens usually either opt out or engage in he crisis. The reactions of citizens vary by the structure of the state and the capabilities the citizen has within the region. A response can be created based off of the state’s ability for reform and other times by impossibility of exit. I found Hirschman’s thoughts to be a good way to begin the discussion about people’s responses to changes within their region. The video then applies how the concepts of exit, voice and loyalty play out in different situations in Latin America, beginning with the example of the earthquake in Mexico City.

Mexico City was an interesting example of a situation where the dissatisfaction among citizens created by deficiencies within the state was emphasized by a natural disaster. With the 8.1 earthquake that occurred in 1985, the conditions in Mexico City went from bad to worse. Many factors leading up to the earthquake unfortunately made the people’s ability to recover afterwards exponentially more difficult. The economy was already in a crisis, making the government ill prepared to aid in the response to the earthquake. Additionally, many buildings built after 1940 collapsed due to poor construction. This was a result from corruption within the construction industry, where construction companies would use bribes to avoid close inspections of their buildings. When the earthquake occurred, the poor conditions of the buildings were revealed. Unfortunately, these were the buildings that stood for progress and prosperity, including hospitals and schoolhouses. I was shocked by the statistics of the damage, with 100,000 people left homeless, 10,000 killed and 412 buildings collapsed. For many, the level of destruction left in the wake of the earthquake and the state’s inability to support the people drove citizens to exit, either physically or mentally.

Overall, the topic of this week was interesting, especially considering the events discussed are relatively recent. I am enjoying expanding my knowledge on occurrences that I would not have known of without this course.