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The U.S.-Mexico Transborder Populations and Globalization
An international border of almost two thousand miles long, a long history of international migration, and daily interaction between social groups and people living in both sides of the U.S.-Mexico Border for more than a century has made this region a highly complex and intriguing social space. More recently, the war on terrorism, an increasing globalized economy and growing social transnationalism are changing the social dynamics of the U.S.-Mexico Border. Sociological analysis of the relationship between population and social change at the U.S.-Mexico border region is needed in order to understand the new transborder and transnational relations in the future of this region and of the two nations involved. Particular attention will be paid to the transborder and transnational life-styles of population groups and families.
The course is organized in two different parts. The first part is oriented to provide students with a sociological framework to understand and analyze the transborder dimension of the population and society in the United States – Mexico border region. This part of the course is based on a series of lectures that combine some classical sociological theories with contemporary conceptual contributions from Border Studies and Transnational Migration Studies. One field trip to the U.S. - Mexico border is included to support the learning experience of students. The second part of the course is oriented to help students in the development of critical thinking and social analysis skills on U.S.-Mexico transborder and transnational issues. For this purpose, students will be required to deconstruct and analyze pre-selected research papers on key border issues. Additionally, students will conduct individual field research in a border community. Active participation of students is expected through student’s presentations in class and participation in class discussions. Guest speakers may be invited to share their empirical research on border issues with students.