UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY LAST 301 Communication and Culture Field Study in Latin America Summer 2007 Mexico Trip Lectures and essay discussions Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Friday sessions -class times assigned to each group of 9 students 9-11:00 am Puebla, Mexico Instructor: Sharisse D. McCafferty Espanol Training Centre LIC: BERTHA GOMEZ Address: 27 SUR 111 LA PAZ Office Location: City / Province: Puebla Postal Code 72160 Country: Mexico Phone: ++ 52 222 230 3243 Office Phone: 403-618-9694 E-Mail: Sharisse@abc-s.ca Web Page: www.abc-s.ca Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 1-3 Additional Information Local phone numbers, emergency contacts, and addresses will be provided upon arrival in Puebla, Mexico. Students will be assigned to one of two groups. Course Description This course is the forum for experiential learning in a Latin American setting for students who wish to develop their cross cultural skills and enhance their intercultural awareness. It is a reflective learning course, designed to provide a framework for the student's empirical learning experience during the field school in Latin America. In biweekly tutorial sessions students will deconstruct and analyze their encounters with Mexican culture. The goals of the course are to provide a forum for the sharing of cross-cultural experiences among the students, and an analytical and critical basis from which the students can interpret these experiences. International travel gives students the opportunity to reflect on themselves by monitoring their responses to new situations. Our stereotypes and prejudices are embedded in these reactions, and so in them lay the opportunity for us to learn about ourselves. By asking ourselves some tough questions, we can move from an attitude of exclusion to one of inclusion, and become better global citizens along the way. Some call this “cultural literacy”. Students will be expected to live with a Mexican family, to take an active part in discussions during the class sessions, and to participate in all events and field trips organized by the field school. Objectives of the Course Provide the students with first-hand experience in a Latin American culture. Develop intercultural awareness and “cultural literacy” through reflection on and discussion of experiences. Introduce the students to Latin America and provide a useful framework for their future travels to the region. Allow the students to put into practice some of the skills and knowledge they have acquired in other Latin American Studies courses from the formal Calgary learning environment. Textbooks and Readings: Pre-session readings will be provided in advance of departure. Handouts: How to Write Your Journal, Research/Essay Questions. Assignments and Evaluation Participation in the group debriefing sessions (including first on-campus session prior to departure) 40% Quiz on presession readings 10% Field journal (handed in weekly) 40% Final reflective question 10% 100% It is the student's responsibility to keep a copy of each submitted assignment. Note: Please hand in your essays directly to your tutor or instructor if possible. There will be no drop box while in Mexico. Registrar-scheduled Final Examination: No Final reflective question is due on the last day of class in Puebla, Mexico. Journals will be handed in the last day of class in Puebla, Mexico and returned before you board the plane for Calgary. Policy for Late Assignments Assignments submitted after the deadline may be penalized with the loss of a grade (e.g.: A- to B+) for each day late. Writing Skills Statement Faculty policy directs that all written assignments (including, although to a lesser extent, written exam responses) will be assessed at least partly on writing skills. For details see www.comcul.ucalgary.ca/info. Writing skills include not only surface correctness (grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, etc) but also general clarity and organization. If you need help with your writing, you may visit the following website for more details: www.efwr.ucalgary.ca Grading System The following grading system is used in the Faculty of Communication and Culture: A+ (96-100); A (92-95); A- (86-91); B+ (81-85); B (77-80); B- (71-76); C+ (65-70); C (62-64); C- (59-61); D+ (55-58); D (50-54); F (0-49 Plagiarism Using any source whatsoever without clearly documenting it is a serious academic offense. Consequences include failure on the assignment, failure in the course and possibly suspension or expulsion from the university. You must document not only direct quotations but also paraphrases and ideas where they appear in your text. A reference list at the end is insufficient by itself. Readers must be able to tell exactly where your words and ideas end and other people’s words and ideas begin. This includes assignments submitted in non-traditional formats such as Web pages or visual media, and material taken from such sources. Please consult your instructor or the Writing Centre (SS 106, efwr.ucalgary.ca) if you have any questions regarding how to document sources. Students with Disabilities If you are a student with a disability who may require academic accommodation, it is your responsibility to register with the Disability Resource Centre (220-8237) and discuss your needs with your instructor no later than fourteen (14) days after the start of the course. Students' Union For details about the current Students' Union contacts for the Faculty of Communication and Culture see www.comcul.ucalgary.ca/su No Safe-walk available in Mexico: Orientation will include strategies for your personal safety while in Mexico. Please use a buddy system. Ethics Whenever you perform research with human participants (i.e. surveys, interviews, observation) as part of your university studies, you are responsible for following university research ethics guidelines. Your instructor must review and approve of your research plans and supervise your research. For more information about your research ethics responsibilities, see the U of C Research Ethics “Information for Applicants,” sections 3.0 to 9.0, inclusive: http://www.ucalgary.ca/UofC/research/html/ethics/info_undergrad.html UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY FACULTY OF COMMUNICATION & CULTURE Latin American Studies 301 Field Study in Mexico Summer 2007 Professor: Sharisse D. McCafferty Each student will prepare six essays during the weeks of trip to Mexico and will lead 6 discussion groups during the 4 weeks in Puebla. During the 10 day trip students should be collecting data and preparing at least 2 essays as classes begin immediately on the return to Puebla. Topics may be chosen from the following list or a student may speak with the instructor if they have other areas of interest that they wish to write about. Descriptions and questions listed below are for starting the observations but students do not need to answer every question. Each student may include anything that they may have noticed even though it is not listed below. 1. MARKET Students will go to the market to observe and interact with merchants and vendors. Please include a description of the vendor (gender, age range, stature, etc.), products for sale and the range of prices. There will also be vendors that wander around the city selling their wares; you make include these merchants in your observations, too. Both commercial and hand-rafted items are available (herbs/medicines, jewellery, clothing, textiles, leather and wooden goods, plastics, food, baskets, hammocks, pottery, etc.). If possible, engage in a conversation with the merchant and include their reactions to you. Bargaining and purchasing a small item is recommended but not required. A comparison of two vendors is suggested. Record any humorous anecdotes. 2. VENDORS While sitting in the Zocalo/central plaza or walking the streets of most areas of Mexico you are considered fair game for the wandering merchants. Take advantage of this and observe: What are they selling? Is it hand crafted or are they selling wares for someone else? Look around. Is there a Jefe or boss standing to the side and waiting for their cut of the money? Many of the children sell onyx animals and chewing gum/chicle. Where are their parents? Who are they taking the money to after a sale? You may want to look at the section on markets to get more ideas. 3. COSTUME/CLOTHING Observe regional, modern, and ethnic dress. Include gender, age, status, and occupational differences. Are the costumes home made or purchased in a store? What type of fibre was used to make the clothing? How do the modern clothes and styles compare with what you see in Canada? You may also want to include adornments/jewellery. What are they wearing and why? Are specific age groups wearing different types of decorative wear? What about men, women, teens, children? Who wears aprons and why? 4. INDIGENOUS GROUPS What groups have you seen? What are they doing? How are they dressed? The Trique are an indigenous group from coastal Oaxaca who travel to many parts of Mexico, including Puebla. They weave on backstrap looms and sell their hand-woven textiles. Suggested observations may include: Observe the men, women, and children. What is their interaction with the purchasers? Who is doing the bargaining? What language are the different genders speaking to each other and to their customers? What are the children doing? Are there any clothing differences within the family unit? Describe the weaving process and the tools they are using. What are they weaving? What type of fibre is being used in the weaving? Are the items being produced considered true native art? 5. NON-MEXICANS IN MEXICO Many areas of Mexico have a multi-ethnic population including Europeans, Asians, and North Americans living in and around the city. In your essay, discuss the various non-Mexican groups you see. What is their role? How do they treat other ethnic and indigenous groups? The best place to observe this topic is in the Zocalo or central plaza while sitting at a sidewalk café for drinks or lunch. Are there any statues or memorials commemorating non-Mexicans in history? If so, describe and discuss. 6. ELDERLY How are the aged/senior citizens treated? Who is accompanying these people? Are they involved in an occupation? What age range would you put them in? Do they have the same assistive devices that senior citizens have in Canada? Are men and women being treated in a similar fashion? 7. INDIVIDUALS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS How are the physically and mentally challenged people treated? Is their special parking and access? Do they have someone accompanying them? Are they involved in an occupation? What is their role within the family and community? 8. CHURCHES Every city in Mexico has churches. They can be small and humble to magnificent structures. Visit several churches and observe the differences. Attend a service, a funeral, wedding, baptism, or a religious festival. While living with your Host Family you may be asked to attend services and festivals. This is a perfect time for a whole range of observations and loads and loads of fun. You will never forget this experience. Just remember to tell your professors that you will be attending a special function or festival. Are they Catholic, Protestant, or some other denomination? What saints are they affiliated with and do these saints have a pre-Conquest anticedent? 9. CHILDREN/TEENS This topic can include toddlers, school age children, and teenagers. Compare and contrast the differences in the treatment of various ages and genders. Are their ethnic and social level differences? Please give an age range and gender for the children you are observing. Discuss clothing, activities they are engaged in, and treatment by parents, siblings, and extended family members. Are the children/teens you are observing engaged in an occupation? What about child labour laws? 10. BABIES AND MOTHERS Compare and contrast how different Mexican babies are dressed, carried, fed, spoken to and treated in each area we visit. How do these differences compare with North American customs? What equipment are people using to transport children? Are their laws requiring specific equipment in motor vehicles? 11. GENDER ROLES Observe the roles of people in their occupations, in daily life, in churches, festivals, and within your Host Family. What is the role of extended family members within your Host Family? Describe clothing, activities, age range, occupations, special talents, and the treatment of a variety of individuals by people within and outside of their family unit. What other genders have you observed? How are they treated? Many of the previous and following essay suggestions include gender roles. Look through those questions for more observation topics. 12. SOCIAL COMMUNICATION Communication partners in various cultures have established unwritten rules. Observe people talking and describe what you see and what you intuit. Discuss physical distance, touching, gestures, greetings, vocal intensity, language and slang. Is there a difference between genders and age groups? 13. PHYSICAL/GEOGRAPHICAL LAYOUT OF CITIES Look at maps of various cities. What is the rationale for the layout of the city and the grid system? Is this layout influenced by the Spanish or indigenous groups? Compare and contrast Puebla’s lay out to Cholula’s city plan. You may want to climb a hill, pyramid, or get to a higher vantage point to make some of your observations. Talk to your Host Family about their cities’ plan – past and future. 14. HOUSEHOLD SPACE Make a drawing of the physical space of your Host Family’s house and compare it to other houses you might visit. Are there spaces that are maintained for just visitors? Are there family altars or spaces set aside for special mementos of festivals and ceremonies? If your Host Family is Catholic, what saints do they hang on the wall? Describe different rooms of the house and their purpose. Are the families nuclear or extended? Discuss the use of roof space? Is there a family pet and what is their relationship to the household space? 15. POLITICS Political, social, and human rights protests are common in Mexico. Please do not attend any political demonstrations even with your Host Family. Discuss political posters and slogans that you see in graffiti or handouts around the different cities. How many political parties are there in Mexico and how do their goals differ? What are the most popular political parties and are their slogans playing to specific social, gender or ethnic cleavages? 16. EDUCATION Educational priorities are varied in Mexico. You should discuss educational practices with your Host Family. You might want to get permission to visit a school. Your essay should include a discussion of literacy rates, private and public education, tuition and uniforms, school calendar (days and months in session). Are rural and urban schools the same? Are indigenous groups treated equally and is their language maintained in the schools? Is there free public education? Are there preschools and who takes advantage of early education? 17. DATING PRACTICES Discuss dating practices with your Host Family. What are the stated expectations of the parents for their children? Can you figure out what the true practice is? Are public displays of affection accepted? There is a distinct difference in dating practices in Mexico and it varies widely between rural and urban centres and from area to area. The Zocalos or central park areas play a role in courtship. What is it? What ages do boys and girls begin to date? Are they accompanied by anyone? Is dating done in groups or as couples? Are there gender, social status, and cultural differences? Do the indigenous groups follow the same social rules? 18. MIGRATIONS This is a wide-open topic but I have listed a few suggestions that delineate your goals with this essay. Your Host Family may be able to provide you with information on migrations within and out of Mexico. Is there a rural to urban migration? Why and by whom? Does the Host Family have members living in other countries? What groups have migrated into Mexico? What is their current role? Where did they come from? When and why did they come to Mexico? How many Mexicans leave Mexico each year and why? You may want to talk to the the people your host family employs as servants and ask where they are from and why they came to the city? 19. TECHNOLOGY Discuss the impact of technology on Mexican society. For example, cell phones and computers. Does this contribute to globalization? What effect does technology have on traditional culture? What role did NAFTA play? Do you see technology being Modernization or North Americanization? 20. FAMILY STRUCTURE Use observations of your Host Family and other families you meet to help you discuss this topic. Is it a nuclear or extended family? Who lives in the house and what is their relationship with the nuclear family? What is the gender and age ratio within the household? What is the division of labour among family members? Who is working outside the home? Are there servants and what is their role? How are they treated, are they incorporated or excluded from the family? Do they belong to a specific ethnic group? Discuss ritual practice as observed in the family. Who participates, what are their jobs, are there monetary and time commitments? Does the family participate in a “cargo/mayor domia” system to support the local church? What are their obligations and who is responsible? 21. HERITAGE To what extent do Mexicans understand and appreciate their cultural heritage? Give specific examples from individuals you have spoken with. Are they Mestizo, Mulatto, or Criollo? What group do they affiliate themselves with? Do they understand the Mexican flag symbolism? Are there traditional arts displayed within the household? Are there archaeological relics displayed. How and where? 22. ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES Compare and contrast two archaeological sites you visited in Mexico. What is the function of monumental architecture? Are both ritual and domestic contexts represented? What is the role of tourism at these sites and how are these sites being affected by tourism? 23. MUSEUMS Describe the educational content of museums in Mexico. Is the past being presented as an exotic foreign place? Is it related to the modern cultural context? Describe the reaction of museum visitors. Is their reaction similar to foreign visitors? What is the layout of the museum and how does it compare to museums you have visited in other parts of the world? 24. TRANSPORTATION Discuss various modes of transportation that you experienced on your trip to Mexico. What about driving rules and road courtesy? Who is utilizing the various types of transportation? What is the range of vehicles on the road? Discuss rural and urban transportation. Are there pollution controls for vehicles? 25. ADVERTISING Advertising signs are everywhere just as in North America. How do the slogans and illustrations differ? Are western ideals being promoted? Are the people illustrated in bulletin boards reflective of the population and how they live? What about TV commercials? 26. FOOD WAYS You will experience a broad range of foods and food preparation on your trip and with your Host Family. You may discuss food preparation, food consumption, gender and age differences, and the actual food. Are there special foods for special holidays or seasons? What have you tried that is different and what was your reaction to it? How do the standard foods you eat at home compare with Mexican cuisine? Food from the Puebla region can be simple to spectacular so you have many experiences to discuss in your essay. You may want to get a recipe or two. Restaurants have a variety of foods from regional specialties to comida corrida/fast food or blue-plate specials. Discuss layouts and décor of restaurants, the type of food being served, and the employees of the restaurant. Compare and contrast restaurants within and between the Mexican states you have visited. How frequently do people eat out in restaurants? 27. ANIMAL TREATMENT AND CARE Discuss your observations of the general treatment of animals in Mexico. If your Host Family has a pet you may wish to discuss this topic with them. North American ideals of animal treatment are often at odds with animal care in other parts of the world. Be careful that you do not offend the people you are speaking with. You may wish to visit a pet store or a veterinarian. How do people feel about neutering animals? What do people feed their animals? What is the life expectancy for pets? Are their leash laws? Where are the pets kept? 28. MEDICAL PRACTICES Hopefully, you won’t get any personal experience in a hospital or clinic. Instead you might want to ask about the medical system, hospital policies, fees charged, and the role of the Pharmacist in daily treatment. Where do medical practioners obtain their degrees. Are there public and private hospitals and what is the difference in the patient’s care? Who care for patients in the public hospital? Is there public and private insurance? What is the role of midwives, curers, and herbalists? 29. TOURISM Mexico is a popular tourist destination both inland and beach areas. How are different gangs and drug cartels using tourism as a weapon against the state? What is the effect of tourism on the Mexican economy? How does tourism affect ecological and archaeological structures? Is tourism wanted, by whom, and for what reasons? 30. CONSTRUCTION AND MODERNIZATION All over Mexico you will see construction of modern buildings, replacement of buildings damaged by earthquakes, etc. What kind of buildings are being constructed, what materials are being used, what is the purpose of the buildings, and do they fit in with the landscape? Are environmental considerations being observed? What role does archaeology play in the construction and remodelling of buildings? What type of equipment is being used? Is there more people-power or machine power? 31. HEALTH CLUBS and PUBLIC BATHS Does Mexico have Health Clubs? Who is using them? What social and ethnic group has established them? What is the purpose of public baths? Who visits them and why? What is a temezcal? Why do people use these? 32. MISCONCEPTIONS VERSUS REALITY Discuss your conceptions before visiting Mexico and what you learned after you have lived and travelled in Mexico. Were your assumptions right or wrong? Discuss your thoughts. Be specific and give several examples. 33. WATER RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION Mexico has a variety of climatic zones. Water is plentiful in some areas and must be carefully conserved in others. What have you observed about the way water is used and restricted within Puebla and what are your Host Family’s rules about water? Does Mexico have water purification systems? 34. SAFETY AND HAZARDS Many homes in North America have smoke and fire detectors. Does your Host Family utilize any of these tools? What are the precautions taken for pedestrians and children around dangerous areas or constructions sites? What is the earthquake alert system and how does it work? Discuss areas that you have been in that seem to be a safety hazard. What should be done about it from a Mexican viewpoint? Again, please be polite if you discuss this with your Host Family. There is always more than one way to do things. 35. NATIONALISM Mexico is strongly influenced by nationalist tendencies. Identify whether Mexicans relate more to civic or ethnic nationalism. How often do you see the Virgin of Guadalupe and what is her role in the symbolism of Mexico. The Virgin of Guadalupe is the patron saint of the Americas and empress of Mexico. What can you identify as important factors in Mexican nationalism? Give examples and discuss their relationship to nationalism. 36. FESTIVALS You will observe many types of religious and public festivals during your visit to Mexico. Discuss what festival you attended or observed. What was the purpose? Who attended it? What was the division of labour? Were there specific social, gender, or age rules for participation? Discuss food, decorations, and dress. Are there specific ceremonies at certain ages? 37. EMPLOYMENT, WAGES, AND WORKER’S RIGHTS Mexico is teeming with movement and everyone seems to be going someplace or working at some thing. Even the dogs seem to have a purpose and somewhere they must be. What is the unemployment rate? What is the minimum wage? Do workers have unions or other organizations that they belong to? Is there a minimum age for employment? Is there unemployment assistance? How do people find jobs? Are there equal rights for all ethnic groups, ages, and challenges? Compare the minimum wage for a general labourer to prices at the movie theatre, stores, food, and a cup of Starbuck’s coffee. 38. BEGGARS AND STREET PEOPLE All over Mexico you will observe people begging, playing musical instruments, and sleeping in doorways. What is the estimated age group of these individuals, what is their gender, how are they dressed, do they belong to specific ethnic groups, are they passive or aggressive? 39. SMOKING AND DRINKING Although Canadians are very health conscious and smoking is on the decline in public places in North America, you will find that smoke is everywhere in Mexico. Is there a pre-Conquest antecedent for this? If so, what is it and how does it affect contemporary Mexico? Drinking and liquor consumption are commonplace in Canada with liquor stores available in nearly every strip mall. How does this compare to Mexico? How do Mexicans view drinking and liquor? Is there a pre-Conquest antecedent for ritual drinking? Who is drinking and where? 40. COLOUR When visitors travel to Mexico one of the things that amazes them is the blaze of colour. Observe the outside of houses, front doors, decorative painting in your Host’s family’s home. What colours are they using and combining? Why? UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY FACULTY OF COMMUNICATION & CULTURE Latin American Studies 301 Field Study in Mexico Summer 2007 Professor: Sharisse D. McCafferty Journal Each student will be required to maintain a journal in which his/her thoughts, feelings, and perceptions of Mexico will be recorded on a daily basis. Please be sure to include entries on your “culture shock” at least three times. Feel free to illustrate your journal with drawings, pictures, postcards, flowers, etc. Make it yours personally. I would encourage you to leave space to add photos to be added later. In your journal you will be commenting on each site we visit and the people you have met, your travel companions, and your adventures Type of Journal: Please use an Essay Notebook (Mead composition). If they are all the same size they are easier for me to collect and transport. Why do I have to keep a journal? Journal writing captures our thoughts and feelings on paper. It helps us reflect on how we think, create, learn, understand and interpret what we are seeing and experiencing. When we can see what we're thinking, we can work with our thoughts in new ways and promote self-growth. We break through our habitual patterns to discover our innate wisdom and cultural biases. And when we do this, our lives transform and our world expands outside of ourselves. Journals don’t interrupt you with tangential questions, and you don’t have to worry about being a burden on a travel mate. They are available to you at any time of the day or night – you don’t have to make an appointment! Journaling on this trip helps by: Recording joys, curiosity, and excitement Releasing frustration and negative emotions of fear and anger associated with traveling to new places and experiencing new environments. It helps you grasp valuable insights, clear out emotional blocks and moves you forward Sparking your inner creativity Discovering ways of self-empowerment and realization. Aiding in self-exploration. This will be the log or chart of your voyage of cultural discovery and self exploration. It will help you see the bigger world picture and not being so concerned with yourself and your culture Tips for successful journal writing are listed below. 1. In the front of your journal write down your Host Family’s names and their relationship to each other, their address and phone numbers. Keep a second copy of this information with you at all times in another location. Also, write down the location of your professors and their phone number. 2. Add a small calendar to the front of your journal. It is easy to lose track of the date when you are traveling. 3. Be consistent and plan to write at a specific time each day. 4. Be complete – write in full sentences that fully share your thoughts or feelings, no matter if they are positive or negative. Name and describe the places you visit. You will forget the names later. This will also help with your photo log when you return home. You might want to make note of the number of pictures you took in each place. 5. Vary your entries. Be creative to avoid boring yourself. 6. Be organized – keep your writing materials together, date each entry 7. Ask yourself questions – what would you like to remember, what would you like to tell others about when you return home? What impressed or depressed you? What were you shocked or surprised about? Would you like to return to this place? What do you miss the most or least? 8. Use “story starter” lines to get you going if you have “writer’s block” In the church there was…. In the market I saw…. I was so happy/angry/frustrated when…. I treasure the fact that….. Today I heard….. 9. Use some of the questions from the LAST 301 class to help you write about the environment you are living in and to stimulate your thoughts. 10. Personalize your journal – journal writing can be fun when you decorate the journal. Feel free to attach documents, make maps when describing a location, copy down statistics that you learn about, add new vocabulary words, make charts and graphs. 11. Keep a journal of your emotions and feelings, it is a great stress reliever and it will be a clear reminder of how you felt when you re- read your journal. Clearly stating your confusion helps you to make good future decisions and helps you learn to laugh at yourself later. It can be enormously helpful to express strong emotion, within a safe context.Rate your emotional state on a numerical scale (1-5). 12. If you are writing about the family you are living with, make sure that the journal stays away from their hands. You may not want them reading what you are writing. Many Mexicans that do not speak English can read it.
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