Sunday, April 3, 2011

4.4 Background/history of your chosen situation

It is difficult for me to decide where to begin my paper in relation to the history.  The colonization of current Mexico began in the 1500s. The Spanish conquest began for the desire of gold and other resources. Eventually it turned into a religious cause in an attempt to Christianize the Indians, this is similar to the white man’s burden.  The results of the Christianizing included wide spread religious conversion, cultural assimilation, as well as forced Indian labor. In 1535, the Spanish established a colonial government in Mexico. The conditions of oppression lasted until Mexican Independence from Spain in 1821.  
Despite Independence in Mexico, the Mexican economy has never been completely stable.  This has lead to a poor job market causing immigration to the United States for job opportunities.  In many cases the immigration has been welcomed. These are of course when the United States was in need of individuals to help the job market, such as during World War I.  During this time the Mexican government allowed citizens to contract and fulfill positions for Americans that went overseas. After the war, Mexican laborers were no longer needed so the number of contracts diminished.   The opposite case happened during the Great Depression when many Mexicans were deported because of the diminishing job market.  This is a great example of dehumanization as well as assimilation. 
During times of need there was an attempt at assimilation.  The Mexican workers were brought to America to help improve the American economy.  The dehumanization is the thought of “bringing in” people.  This makes them seem like a supply and demand good.  It is very sad that the people become like any other product.  When they are needed that can be brought into the United States, but if they are not they are prevented from coming or pushed out. 


  1. Perhaps a brief (one-page)overview of Mexican history? I think it is a good idea to include this, as you mentioned, to explain the current situation of the Mexican economy. There are a couple of films that might be interesting: "Crossing Arizona" (in the Media Center) and "A Day without a Mexican." Let me know if I can help with anything.

  2. Interesting approach on dehumanization. The mexicans in that light do seem like a commodity. It's kind of like outsourcing I guess except they're coming to the company's country instead of the other way around. Hmm...the complexities of global interactions. If there is any discrepancy of power it seems someone will be taken advantage of.