movement toward authoritarian regimes offering hope W r i t i n g

movement toward authoritarian regimes offering hope W r i t i n g

Week 1

How do we understand immigration patterns and causes from a neutral science-based perspective? Is this possible, why or why not?

For example, in the documentary Which Way Home, how do we explain scientifically why thousands of children and then more recently whole families make the dangerous, arduous journey north to a destination that overtly is unwelcoming and punitive, treating them as criminals? Does adding more theories together help? How about the dimensions of scale and history/time? Where and how do we start the story of Honduran or Guatemalan migration?

Knowing what you know about NAFTA from the book and the film, imagine three things that would be different today (good or bad) if opening up movement of people had remained in the original agreement or added in 2001. Be specific and okay to get creative

(supplement: We focused mostly on NAFTA and its role in the book and watched most of a documentary on NAFTA filmed just before Trump became president. I mentioned that the role of powerful corporations was largely left out of the film. The film mentioned how professionals in Mexico benefited from NAFTA but not thousands of small growers hurt by cheap U.S. imports. I observed that NAFTA and other trade policies/realities have both direct and indirect effects on immigration: a. they change the living conditions of some for the worse or provide jobs that do not sustain people with a direct impact on outmigration. b. they impact the wider cultural and political environments of destination regions/states hurt by trade policies ushering in, here and in Europe and Australia, more anti-immigration and nationalist movements. For the upcoming election, some of the most important states in play that will decide the election are those that lost manufacturing jobs, though much of it was due to automation. In recent years, immigration and its dual negative image of criminals and taking jobs away (can be played either as people who don’t work or work too hard!) has had major impacts on more right-wing politics and more movement toward authoritarian regimes offering hope, however genuine, to those feeling left out of the meritocratic party of globalized capitalism.

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What are the similarities and differences between the historical definitions, uses, and abuses of the concepts of race and talent?

Where does your talent come from? When did you first learn you had one? Was it an internal or external realization?

Do you feel a moral responsibility to find and use your talents? Why?

Week 3

What is the difference between capitalism and talentism as discussed in class?

What is the double jeopardy of race thinking and talent thinking in immigration policies for an immigrant from Honduras (or use another country)?

How does the lense of the political economy of meritocratic talentism complicate an understanding of talent and human capital as uniformly positive and an individual resource focused on the quality of your brain?

Is talentism inherently democratic? Anti-democratic? Neutral? Why?

Can we have talentism without meritocracy? Vice versa?

Week 4

Today we discussed the key ideas of the Goldin book as being about how market capitalism spread goods, ideas, and people around in ways that led to globalizing progress (overall), and contrasted this with ideas that markets and capital does not automatically lead to “doing the right thing.” We then watched “Night at the Garden” from 1939, and first half hour of “Racism: A History.” The first episode is entitled “The Color of Money” and argues that racism came after slavery, not the other way around. I asked you to ponder which president-elect is more “American” and why? Also, note the various implicit and explicit themes of meritocracy (people should earn or deserve benefits and status based on “merit”) in connection to various policies currently being discussed and on who should be president. Of course, changes to immigration policy are happening and you might search for these.

Week 5

How does the Goldin et al. book treat notions of human capital, skill, talent among immigrants? Are they defined? How? What is the role they play in the lives of the immigrants, their decisions, and in the larger narrative of historical patterns of mobility and impact on destinations? That is, how much explanatory power are they given?

If you were to change something or suggest an edit to the volume’s treatment of these themes in light of lectures and discussion on talent(ism), what would it be?

Similarly, what would you change or alter, perhaps add to, the book’s discussion of forced labor, slavery, and Eugenics and their relation to immigration patterns and immigrant experiences?

Each week’s journal reflections should be about 2 or 3 pages, 12-Times New Roman, 400-600 words each.

Don’t hesitate to reach me if you have any questions 🙂

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