7-The Export Boom as Modernity

Before this week, I did not know much about this time period in Latin American history. The way that it is illustrated in our readings make it out to be the time when Latin America really grew. There were several aspects that I found interesting that I would like to address.

First of all, I liked reading about the women’s roles in the work force. It is quite different from other countries where woman only entered the work force when there was an absolute need (like the world wars). However for the most the most part, it seems as though the woman worked at the factories out of financial need when they would rather be experiencing the married family lifestyle. I wonder if this is because of a culture that believes the man should be the provider.

Our reading also illustrate a difference between the wealthy and the poor. The elite living in the cities compared to the peasants living in rural areas mark a stark difference. It is crazy to think that there were so many technological and cultural advances happening in the cities while the people in more rural areas struggled. I believe this is still felt today. When you visit mexico for instance, there is amazing architecture and culture but there is also evident poverty and people struggling to make ends meet.

It surpprised me to read about the school where the indigenous people were taught mechanics. It made sense that they would want to stay in the city once they started attending school and after completing their studies. It provided them more opportunities to better their lifestyles. They were participating in the modernization of their country and also being productive members of society.

Finally, with regards to Diaz’s interview, he made an interesting comment about democracy being for the middle class. His mindset was that the wealthy were too preocupied with their own earnings to care much for the less fortunate and the less fortunate were not educated enough to make a reliable decision. This brings up a key issue to when democracies work and when they do not. He believes that there needs to be a majority middle class that will address some of the issues from both of the sides. So my questions for this week are: Do you think this is true for our world today? Do you agree with his point of view?