Número 31, sep-dic 2013 Imprimir


Foundations and Debate

  • Raj Patel
    The Role of Power, Gender and the Right to Food in Food Sovereignty

    Abstract: This paper examines the systems and institutions that hold corporate power. It begins by considering the difference between under-nourishment (a deficit of calories) and the broader concept of food insecurity (a violation of physical and economic access to nutritious food). Power relationships lie behind food insecurity. Food insecurity is correlated with obesity, and both are importantly related to gender. To find a resolution for these problems, it is necessary to examine the context wherein power is exercised. The international peasant movement, La Vía Campesina, has examined this context and advocates “food sovereignty” whereby communities have a right to define their own food and agricultural policies. In particular, corporations, philanthropic foundations, and hegemonic governments cannot continue to define these policies. A critical element of this focus on community is the non-negotiable recognition of women’s rights. Thereby the rights of the majority of the undernourished – women and girls – as well as a substantial portion of the agricultural workforce – again, women and girls – will be brought into the democratic conversation about policies. In the end, identifying inequities in power within the global food system is a means not only to interpret the system, but also to change it.

  • Susan Archer Mann
    Paradigm Shifts in U.S. Feminist Thought

    Abstract: A number of feminists have noted a marked divide between the content of modern U.S. feminist thought and the newer U.S. feminisms that arose in postmodernity. This transformation has been referred to as a paradigm shift in that previously shared assumptions and unquestioned orthodoxies have been radically overturned. While other feminist writers have highlighted the contested terrain between these new feminisms, this article focuses on their common ground. I argue that the crux of this common ground is a shared focus on difference, deconstruction and decentering. The following dimensions of this shift are examined: the decentering of theory and science; the deconstruction of sex and gender; the deconstruction of social structure; shifts in analyses of power and difference; and the decentering of dominant feminisms both locally and globally. It is argued that these paradigm shifts in feminist thought are grounded in the social transformations wrought by postmodernity. The new feminisms better answer the conceptual needs of the social, economic, political and cultural problems thrown up by the new world order. Thus the seismic changes in social conditions wrought by postmodernity transformed not only the gendered nature of social life, but also the various ways that we think about and understand the world in which we live.

  • Gordon Welty
    Regulation of Business in the USA

    Abstract: This article examines the regulation of business in the USA. The regulation of business, like all dialectical processes, has general moments and particular moments. First, this article considers the general moment of this process, the regulation of the macro-economy, and the regulation of capital in general. The research of Harvey Brenner, and more recently Sanjay Basu and colleagues, demonstrates that regulation of the economy and business is necessary to alleviate a series of physical illnesses and mental disorders among the masses. Second, this article turns to the particular moment and considers how the nature of the state, and classes and their interests in capitalist society necessitates regulation of business. Next, this article considers how regulatory activities can improve the standard of living of the masses of people. Finally, this article reviews the history of regulation in one industry, the pharmaceutical industry, by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This article concludes that regulation of industry is necessary but not sufficient, in the long run, to resolve the pathologies that have been identified. Only the transcendence of society that moves in its class antagonisms will provide the solution.

  • Henry A. Giroux
    Beyond the Disimagination Machine

    Abstract: In this article, I argue that for the past thirty years, the symbolic and real violence of neoliberalism have created what I call the dead zones of capitalism where the values and practices of disposability and social death have replaced important elements of a democratic polity with a culture of greed, militarism, and cruel spectacles of violence. In its current form neoliberal politics, economics, and public pedagogy have become a register of how difficult it is for American society to make any claims on public memory, historical struggles, and the promise of a democracy to come. As the realm of the social disappears, public values and any consideration of the common good are erased from politics, while the social state and responsable modes of governing are replaced by a corporate, militarizing, and punishing state and a Darwinian notion of social relations. This paper argues that if we are to imagine another type of society than the one which we currently inhabit, it is imperative for intellectuals, educators, artists, and other cultural workers to embrace a institutions, discourses and other modes of representation capable of imagining an emancipatory notion of pedagogy, agency, and collective struggle. In part, this means not only making evident how neoliberalism intensifies the pathologies of racism, war, inequality, and violence but also how it might be possible take up the challenge of developing a politics and pedagogy that both imagines and struggles for a radical democracy.

Articles and Miscellany

  • Paulo Henrique Martins
    Development models and wealth indicators: The case of Latin America

    Abstract: The economic crisis compels to a major review of the role of the state in the reproduction of certain indicators. In the limits of my approach seems legitimate re-discuss the relationship between politics and economics, as if GDP (Gross Domestic Product) was organized by the state, must also be deconstructed through the same state. This means that if the national political apparatus was instrumented to organize growth policies, may also be subject to deconstruction in this time which unlimited growth is causing very negative eco-social externalities. Thus, critical theory must consider the fact that the complexity of national social realities within the world-system, demands today new conceptions of measurement of wealth and garbage. For this it is essential consider indicators to valorize the territory.

  • José Vargas Mendoza
    Current crisis and speculative financial cycle in the world economy and the Mexican economy

    Abstract: The article discusses the reasons that led to the opening of the apparent dominance of the financial cycle of the production cycle in the global economy and in the Mexican economy. It also explains that this is a new stage of development of contemporary capitalism whose material base represents the current technological revolution centered in the microelectronics industry and telecommunications. It also suggests that the technological revolution has formed a new production techniques based system requires the creation of economic, political and social, as happened with the Fordist-Keynesian stage of the second postwar period, where the New Deal in the United States was he institutional framework that gave historical feasibility to project development time. At the current stage, neoliberal political leadership has become an obstacle to resolving social conflict that opens at each new stage between the economic structure and the institutional structure of the system. Countries of South East Asia, China, India, etc., who managed to create the State which is in line with the new requirements of the current phase of capitalism are the big winners, while the leaders of the technological revolution and neoliberal countries accompany them are the losers, including Mexico.

  • Gabriela María Luisa Riquelme Alcantar / Aarón Paz Torres / María de Jesús Murillo Ávila /Angélica Reyes Meza
    Development of scientific skills in higher education students: a look from the sociocultural approach

    Abstract: From a constructivist-sociocultural perspective, this paper presents a set of ideas whose purpose is to contribute to the development of scientific skills in higher education students, under the premise that among other difficulties, they fail to raise capabilities of scientific reasoning for acquiring skills that enable them to have a complete life quality and aspire to be individuals socially useful