The measures of economic development in Mexico include per capita GDP of about 9,000 dollars. Mexico has a population of about 110 million people. It has a relatively well developed infrastructure and communication systems. Adult literacy is about 94% for the males whereas 91% for the females. Most of the labor force is concentrated in the agricultural sector (4%), industries (26%) and service industry (70%). The life expectancy in Mexico is about 75. 19% at birth. This encompasses all the races and sexes (Kohler and Tausch, 2002) Dependency theory versus modernization theory
Dependency theory describes poverty as a consequence of the manner in which a country is integrated into a system rather than lack of integration. Mexico is mainly involved with other developed countries in terms of exports and the imports as the main economic activities. On the other hand, the developed countries are rarely involved in such activities with the developing countries. They are mainly involved with other countries that are well developed as well as internal trade. This consequently leads to less bargaining power in the world market (Kohler and Tausch, 2002) Religion and politics
There has been considerable shift as far as religion is concerned. This also involves the relationship between the church and the state. Mexico is primarily a Roman Catholic nation though there has been continuous expansion of other evangelical churches. Despite the several constitutional bans imposed on the churches, they have continued to involve themselves in political issues. The Catholic Church, for example, has continued to involve itself in sensitive issues which concern the public. Mexico is now a multireligious nation since other evangelical churches have continued to grow in numbers.
This can be attributed to the recruitment efforts in the earlier years (in the 1980s and 1990s). There are a number of protestant churches in Mexico today such as Seventh Day Adventist, Assemblies of God and the Mormons. The growth was greatly reported mainly in the south eastern part of Mexico. These areas include Chiapas, Campeche, Quintana Roo and other States in Mexico (Nesvig, 2006). The church state relations in Mexico have been reported to be one of the main causes of confrontations in Mexico. The Catholic Church has continued to play multiple roles in this nation.
The government’s effort to curtail this influence has not been very successful. The catholic involvement in several areas (such as charities and institutions) and their rising numbers was seen as a threat to the government. The church’s involvement in politics is currently seen as a move to express their democratic rights and fight for the rights of the citizens. Their aim is to fight for good governance and correct the State. Currently, the relationship between the church and the state is a realistic one. This is due to the abolishment of most restrictions that had been imposed in the past (Camp, 2007).
Ethnic-cultural divisions There are several indigenous groups found in Mexico. They belong to different ethnic groups and political affiliations. It is worth noting that the Indians are not just one group but comprise several ethnicities with a common background (historical and the cultural backgrounds). There are several cultural subdivisions in Mexico. One of the main subdivisions identifies the central, south eastern, northern and south Mexico. The northern part of Mexico which had been sparsely populated for a long time is now occupied by a small group of indigenous people.
It is referred to as the frontier culture and it has a sparse population. The central and western part of Mexico has dense population. There are a number of indigenous populations in the central parts, coastal plains and the sierras. The culture in Mexico is a diverse one made up of different kinds of identities (Camp, 2007). Women and development It is reported that women participation in economic issues has greatly increased compared to the past. Most women are also involved in other activities in the nation and are paid better wages compared to the past.
Despite the fact that men are the main persons in politics, women have also begun to be involved. This has been seen in the leadership roles in certain political parties in Mexico. On the other hand, women have also been involved in other social organizations and movements. Despite the fact that the law clearly advocates for equality between women and men, there is still differences between the two. This can be seen in the types of privileges and their authority. Women are mostly involved in religious issues in Mexico (Roberts and McBee, 2008) Agrarian reform and the politics of rural change
The agrarian reforms in Mexico have been one of the main accomplishments in Mexico though it was not an easy task. It is reported that most people had small plots of lands which were not enough to meet their needs. Most of these people were the campesinos. However, most of the privately owned lands were taken and redistributed. The ejido or community plots were the mode of redistribution of the lands. In this arrangement, the government was petitioned by the citizens to seize most of the privately owned properties. The land was owned by the state but every person was free to farm.
This was done either individually or as a group but the land could not be sold by the Ejidatarios. They were also compelled to continue using the lands or else the right of use is withdrawn. Every person had the right to use the land including the Comuneros. The current scenario in Mexico is the continued struggle to redistribute the lands to the poor who are landless. This is carried out by most organizations (Roberts and McBee, 2008) Rapid urbanization and the politics of the urban poor The rapid urbanization in Mexico can be attributed to certain policies which had positive impacts ion the industrial sector.
They led to an increase in industrial production. Despite the rapid urbanization, several problems have also been encountered. For example, most cities do not have efficient way of distributing water supplies. Secondly, the sewerage system is not a good one in most areas. The factors which have contributed to urban growth are population increase and urban migration. Migration can be due to the search of better opportunities or lifestyle (Roberts and McBee, 2008) Despite the fact that the poverty trends in Mexico have been improving since 2002, the urban poverty has continued to rise.
This is the greatest challenge as far as the equitable distribution of resources is concerned. The rural areas have continued to be improved with time and the level of poverty reduced in these areas. Several factors can be attributed to this change. These include; diversified incomes from economic activities and other services like tourism. The main area that needs improvement is the urban areas. Most people in these areas usually toil very hard but are paid less. Most of their incomes are got as a result of manual labor (about 60%). Accessibility of opportunities to the poor has not improved in the urban areas.
Revolutionary change/Soldiers and politics The revolution in Mexico began as early as 1910 and it involved several movements. It kept changing from not just a revolt but into a civil war which involved several parties. It led to the establishment of the constitution in 1917 by the representatives. The beginning of the revolution was in 1929 with the establishment of National Revolutionary Party (NRP). It hang on to power until the year 2000 (Hart, 2007). This revolution involved everyone including Mexican women and their impacts were felt during this period.
It is reported that they took part in several activities, professions and took part in wars. Some of the famous known women participants were known as the Soldaderas who were closely involved with the militias. It is reported that the main reasons why women joined in such risky affairs was due to fear of being left alone by their husbands. Some were also involved because they saw this as a collective duty. Some of the women who took part in the revolutionary process include Hermila Galindo and Dolores Muro (Jandura, 2009). The political economy of third world development
Mexico experiences a wide gap more as far as wealth distribution is concerned. The level of inequalities has continued to rise in this country especially with the introduction of certain economic policies. It has been reported that a lot of people live below the poverty line with a small number of people in the middle class. The level of poverty and marginalization has continued to spread in many parts of the country but are mostly seen in the southern and central parts of rural Mexico. Most settlements do not have the basic services and social amenities.
Most of the poorest groups are the Indians who are also highly marginalized (Anderson and Glade, 1963). On the other hand, the wealthiest groups of people are mostly the whites. The differences between the rich and the poor are easily noticed in the modes of dressing and the lifestyles of the people. The usage of facilities also shows a difference. Wealthy people have access to the best facilities and institutions whereas the poor are not allowed to. These differences have led to discrimination in Mexico and ethnic rivalry. Most of the government’s help is directed to the urban areas (Villareal, 2010).
References Anderson, C. W. & Glade, W. P. (1963). The Political Economy of Mexico. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. Camp, R. A. (2007). Crossing swords: Politics and Religion in Mexico. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield Hart J. M. (2007). Revolutionary Syndicalism in Mexico. Retrieved on 22 August 2010 from http://libcom. org/library/revolutionary-syndicalism-mexico-john-m-hart Jandura T. (2009). Revolutionary Mexican Women. Retrieved on 22 August 2010 from http://www. ic. arizona. edu/ic/mcbride/ws200/mex-jand. htm Kohler G. and Tausch A. (2002)
Global Keynesianism: Unequal exchange and global exploitation. Huntington NY: Nova Science. Nesvig, M. A. (2006). Local Religion in Mexico. Gainesville: University Press of Florida Roberts E. R. & McBee G. W. (2008) Modernization and Economic Development in Mexico: A factor analytic Approach. Retrieved on 22 August 2010 from http://www. jstor. org/pss/1152237 Villareal A. M. (March 31, 2010). US-Mexico Economic Relations: Trends, Issues and Implications. Retrieved on 22 August 2010 from http://www. fas. org/sgp/crs/row/RL32934. pdf