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INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS REGIONAL FOCUS LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN Most of our discussion, while pertinent internationally, Has taken a “core-centric” viewpoint, i.e., we have looked at theories and issues in international communications from media and policy originating in the “core nations” Remember….core/periphery nations: The theory that posits as one region or state expands in power and influence, it culturally and economically controls regions nearby to ensure its own ongoing economic and political success. When speaking of nations, the powerful are the core and the not so powerful….the periphery.
LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN However, we cannot look purely through the eyes of the core nations (particularly U.S.) because 1. Even if the core/periphery paradigm is taken as a given, it is changing, evolving with globalization and technology. New opportunities for growth are expanding via new communications technology. 2. NON CORE NATIONS, SUCH AS THOSE IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN ALSO HAVE AN IMPACT ON GLOBAL CULTURE THROUGH NEW MEDIA
Latin America and the Caribbean Lecture this week will consist of a background and history of Latin America and the Caribbean. You should use this information to guide your reading, keeping in mind the question how the region has both affected and been affected by global media culture. Our class discussion board will revolve around this question…….
WHERE IN THE WORLD? Latin America is a term loosely used to describe the following regions Mexico Central America- Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama South America- Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Venezuela The Caribbean Nations Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamaica
A Brief Regional History • The region was first inhabited by people crossing into the Bering Strait (when it was a land bridge) more than ten thousand years ago • By 1000AD, South America’s rainforests, mountains, plains and coasts were the home to tens of millions of people. • The Chibchas of Colombia, Quechuas of Peru, and Aymaras of Bolivia were the three indigenous groups that settled most permanently
A Brief Regional History Latin America and the Caribbean is home to many indigenous peoples and advanced civilizations including the Aztecs, Toltecs, Caribs, Tupi, May and Inca. The Golden Age of the Maya began around 250 AD, with the last two great civilizations-the Aztec and the Inca-emerging into prominence later in the early 14th and 16th Centuries.
European Colonization Enter Columbus In the late 15th Century, Columbus’s voyages began the mass migration of Colonial Europeans The indigenous elites quickly lost power to Conquistadors, like Hernan Cortes Cortes and other European forces were aided by conscripted natives and anti-elite indigenous forces. After much violence toward the indigenous elites, the Incan Rule in Western South America was extinguished and Colonial Rule began
European Colonization • European powers colonized the region, which, along with the rest of the uncolonized world, was divided into areas of Spanish and Portuguese control by the 1493 Line of Demarcation, which gave Spain all areas to the West (in the “New World”-AKA Latin America/Caribbean) and Portugal all the lands to the East. Eventually, Portugal had Brazil, and Spain the rest. • By the 16thCentury, Europeans occupied Central and South America all the way to the today’s Southern U.S.
A Bit about Mexico Mexico, while part of North America, is sometimes lumped in with Central America-especially until recently when Mexico was considered a “developing nation” This doesn’t generally sit well with the Mexican people who tend to think of themselves as (Mexicans first, of course) North Americans although they call United States occupants “norteamericanos” and themselves “americanos”.
European Colonization In addition to Conquistadorian violence toward the indigenous peoples of the region, European colonization had disastrous effects on the population.
European Colonization • DISEASE: brought by Columbus and his followers, such as smallpox and measles; historians cannot determine the exact number of people who died from European diseases, but the estimates run up to 85% of the entire population • SUBJUGATION: many of the surviving people were displaced from their lands and forced to work in European plantations and mines
Independence • The early 1820’s brought with it the Monroe Doctrine and Latin and America and the Caribbean movements for Independence from Spain. By 1825 every nation gained independence besides Cuba (see Timothy Gjelten’s: Barcardi and the Long Battle for Cuba for a fascinating read on this) and Puerto Rico which was sold to the U.S. for 20 million at the Treaty of Paris in 1898
Independence?? • Worried that the European countries would try and win back the colonies they had lost in the Latin American movement for Independence and motivated by a desire to keep the region’s exploitable natural resources for themselves, the U.S. expanded the Monroe Doctrine vis a vis the Roosevelt Corollary which basically stated that the U.S. reserved the right to intervene-militarily or otherwise-when it felt itself threatened by problems faced internally by it’s neighbors to the South and East.
United States Interventions United States Interventions in Latin America and the Caribbean Interactive Map of US interventions around the World (note the relative number of those in Latin America and the Caribbean)
Latin America and the Caribbean Today • More than 1.5 billion people live in Latin America and the Caribbean today • While Spanish is the official language of almost all (save Jamaica and Brazil-English and Portuguese, respectively) many indigenous languages also present • While not for a lack of trying, the U.S. has been unable to keep up dominance in the region. This is despite or because of NAFTA
Latin America and the Caribbean Today • NAFTA of course is not the only factor to look to when evaluating the region’s ability to maintain its cultural, political and economic identity free (at least partially) from total U.S. dominance • Long history of struggle for independence • Strong indigenous cultural traditions • History of involvement with the U.S. as an exporter as well as importer of cultural products
Latin America:Lozano’s Media Conglomerates • Lozano offers the following terms ( the definitions are in the text and will be on this week’s quiz and/or the next exam) • Cultural proximity • Cultural Discount • Cultural Linguistics Markets • Asymmetric Interdependence (how is this more complex than ‘dependency theory’?)
Romancing the Globe • The Mexican telenovela sensation “Marimar” was first a hit around the world, then taken and repackaged by other nations • Isn’t this a bit like the J.K. Rowling case? Watch this clip that someone posted regarding the two versions. Many watched the Mexican version first and then the Filipino As the article points out, many countries have imported telenovelas and now produce their own…..
Romancing the Globe • An example of an imported product or, as Lozano dubs it “reverse cultural imperialism” is a telenovela originally produced in Colombia Betty La Fea O Ugly Betty Check out this intro to one of the Latin American Betty la Fea versions (you do not need to watch the whole clip)
Subversive Betty • Some media critics have called Ugly Betty subversive , noting that the show (among many others today) offers an alternative portrayal to the mainstream media’s portrayal of immigrants or other marginalized groups (e.g., homosexuals) • NOTE: media researchers have documented that many immigrants are labeled or portrayed as “invaders”, or likened to bugs in that they “swarm” into the U.S.
Dobbs versus Betty ILLEGAL ALIENS IN AMERICA BETTY AND IMMIGRATION
Dobbs V. Betty How are immigrants portrayed in Lou Dobbs report? How are they portrayed in the Ugly Betty program (I had a clip but it was removed from youtube)? Could Ugly Betty be contraflow pushing back against Lou Dobbs? Can peripheral cultures influence core cultures From within? From without?
JUST FOR FUN Here is a clip that is very funny and very interesting: Qué Hora Es? The clip is mocking the emotional exaggeration (to U.S. culture) that typifies the telenovela. But isn’t it also making fun of U.S. or Western citizens who for some reason cannot master the art of a second language.