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I. Course Information

Department Semester in English-VRIV

Course Title Latin American Social Movements


In Class Workshop
Weekly Schedule 4UD 64 NA

Class Schedule Tuesdays 14:00 – 15:10 and 15:20 – 16:30

Professor Alonso Octavio Aravena Méndez


Office Hours By appointment

II. Learning Results

By the end of the course, students will:

1.- Know and understand relevant social movements from different countries, both currently active, as
well as others from the past few decades in Latin America
2.- Know how to analyze the movements’ actions, discourse, structure, leadership and orientations.
3.- Understand fundamental concepts, theories and categories for the analysis of Social Movements
4.- Reflect on the consequences of social movements for Latin American development and
5.- Learn how to propose accurate research ideas to further the knowledge on Latin American Social


III. Teaching Methodology

The first unit of the course will aim at setting the base in relevant categories and concepts that will
be applied in the following units. However, examples from Latin American Movements will be used
to illustrate several key aspects in Unit 1.

From Unit 2 to Unit 5, classes will refer to specific cases from a number of social movements, using
different supporting materials, such as academic articles, news stories and audiovisual resources, in
order to have a wide array of views on each social movement. Different teaching methods will be
used to make the class interactive with the students, as well as fully achieve the learning objectives.

Discussions will be open for students to participate and apply the different perspectives and analysis
options seen during the first unit of the course. For this goal, bibliography provided will mostly be
from authors and sources who have had a direct contact with the movements and that tend to
question commonly accepted views of the movement. Participation from the students will be
expected and graded. Students must demonstrate that they’ve read and reflected on their

Students will also be required to present and write research ideas for the cases they have chosen,
which will not require fieldwork. They can choose a case included in the classes or another case of
their own interest. Units and sub-units have been elaborated to include a proper number of social
movements in Latin America, in order to cover different areas and topics, providing enough time to
deepen the analyses. Thus, the course is not meant to exclude other cases and countries and
bibliography will be made available for any case and topic chosen by the students.

IV. Evaluation Methodology

Description of Each evaluation will use a scale from 1.0 to 7.0 with 1 decimal. 7.0 being the
the highest possible score and 1.0 being the lowest. A passing grade is 4.0 or higher. All
methodology evaluations will have a rubric that will be given to the students prior to the
evaluation, in order to make the evaluation process and result as transparent as
possible for everyone. The final grade of the class will be calculated according to
the following values:

Class participation and quizzes: 20%

2 Research Idea Papers: 30% (15% each)
1 Case presentation: 20%
Final research proposal: 30%

Although work groups can be established to research a common case with 2-4
members, according to the students’ interests, each student will be required to
choose a specific aspect to study of their chosen case, as well as turn in individual
reports and research proposal. The case presentations can be prepared as a group,
but each student will be evaluated on their specific aspect chosen.


For papers, students may request an early evaluation if they submit their work a
week before the deadline, in order to have a better understanding of what aspects
need to be improved for the actual grading. Students may also choose to keep the
early evaluation grade if they are satisfied with it.


Evaluation Learning Result being evaluated Date %

Class Class participation will include participating in discussions and Monthly 20%
participation debates with their classmates, which will require students to
have studied their assigned tasks. During the course, both the
professor and students will assess participation on a monthly
grade basis at the end of March, April, May and June. The best 3
averaged grades between grades given by the professor and the
student will count for class participation will count towards the
final grade, to allow for absences.
2 “Research “Research Ideas” papers will allow the professor to evaluate 14th and 15%
Idea” Papers work on the students’ writing about Social Movements. They 20th Class each
will consider all details and formalities required by publications
in social sciences, but their extension will be limited to a brief
introduction, research problem section, initial bibliography and
the Applied Research Table. Observations made to these reports
will allow for students to improve their final research proposal.

Each of the “research ideas” papers can be written, according to

the students’ choice, about one or more cases. It will have to
include at least, but not limited to:

- Introduction
- Research Problem
- Applied Research Table
- Initial Bibliography

Case The presentation will evaluate the selection of one or two 23rd and 20%
presentation movements by the students and how they articulate the 24th
relevance and purpose of their proposals. As stated above, Classes
students can work on a case as a group. However, all
evaluations will be individual. It will also evaluate the students’
depth, changes made and the increase on clarity and arguments
to explain their choices. They can maintain the initial two cases
from the first two Research Idea Papers, choose one of the two,
or change them completely.

Final research The final paper will evaluate all learning results set in the 32nd 30%
proposal course. It must show that students have followed all the norms, class
reflected on their particular research ideas, as well as studied its
context and reflected on its relevance. It must include all the
corrected components for the research idea paper, plus two
sections for:
- Brief conceptual framework
- Conclusions & Projections


V. Course Rules
All Reading materials, presentations and other supports will be made available with
anticipation to each class in a public access email box for all students of the course: The password will be made available during the first class.

According to University policies, attendance will be required for at least 80% of the classes. In
order for a missed session to not be counted for that percentage, students must present a
doctor’s note within one week from the absence, explaining the reason for that specific date.
Students will have to send an email to the professor with a scanned copy of the doctor’s note
and request confirmation that the email has been received, in order to reschedule the
evaluation. Rescheduling will not be completed until the professor has acknowledged receiving
the email and communicated with the student to set a new date. Failure to present a doctor’s
note and/or to communicate with the professor will result in receiving a grade of 1.0.
However, each student will have 5 days of grace-period throughout the semester.

Failing to turn in the final paper will result in failure of the course.

Reports and papers must be received by the professor (not sent by the students) at 17:00 on
the days that have been set in the schedule. Students are advised to send reports and papers
by email with enough time for it to be received at 17:00. All papers and presentations to be
submitted will be sent as an email addressed to the professor,, and
with a copy to the course’s email address,, so students can verify that
the email has been received. Reports and papers that have not been received at 17:00 on the
appointed days will be graded with 1.0.

According to UVM’s policies, students will not be allowed to take part in protests and
demonstrations. This is why the research proposal will not require actual fieldwork and credit
will not be given for taking part in activities that disobey the University’s policy for
international students. Taking part in protests or demonstrations is grounds for expulsion from
Chile, and will not be condoned or supported by the University.

One of the main purposes of this course is to critically observe different social, cultural,
political and religious projects and ideas, which students may possibly disagree with. Debates
and dialogues during the classes will require the students to communicate their ideas with
respect for other people’s views and culture. Given that the course will focus on a subject
within social sciences, it will be necessary for students to be tolerant and respectful of others,
both their classmates, their professor and the social actors involved in Latin American social
movements. Intolerant, angry or abusive dialogue will not be accepted and will result in a 1
point deduction from the Class Participation final grade.

All submitted papers must include the rules of presentation set in the MLA catalogue. This applies
for the first page, citations and bibliography, among others. All submitted reports and essays, as
well as presentations, must include a bibliography section in the end. Students must get used to
writing a bibliography, thus, failing to include it will affect the student’s grade.



Learning Results (LR) Units, or Modules (include topic content)

1.- Know and understand relevant socialUnit 1: Introduction to Social Movements

movements 1.1. Approaches to the study of social movements
from different countries, both currently1.2. Collective Actions: Orientations from the individual to
as well
1.3. Citizen organizations and social movements
as others from the past few decades in Latin
America Unit 2: New Social Movements?
2.- Know how to analyze the 2.1.Overview of Latin American Social Movements
movements’ actions, discourse, 2.2. One Topic, multiple movements: Chilean Education
structure, leadership and Movements
orientations 2.3. Bringing out the truth: Movement for Peace and Justice
with Dignity from Mexico
3.- Understand fundamental
concepts, theories and categories Unit 3: Social Movements against national governments
for the analysis of Social Movements 3.1. Latin American movements during the 20th century: Plaza
4.- Reflect on the consequences and de Mayo from Argentina
impacts of social movements for 3.2. The fight for participation in Politics: Bolivian MAS
Latin American development and Movement
democracy 3.3. Culture and Ethnicity of Latin American Indigenous
5.- Learn how to propose accurate
research ideas to further the Unit 4: Social movements against economic status (quo)
knowledge on Latin America Social 4.1. Civil Society and Informal Organization of Social
Movements Movements: Landless Movement from Brazil
4.2. Labour and survival: Worker occupied factories in
4.3. Citizen resistance: Anti-neoliberal Movements

Unit 5: The struggle for territory and counter culture

5.1. Urban Development and public spaces: Mil Tambores
from Valparaíso
5.2. Ecology and the use of soil: Peasant Movement from Perú
5.3. Critical positions and social change: Central and South
American Guerrilla Movements


L Unit Class Class activity, or evaluation Preparation for class

R Objective

1 Unit 1: 1-2 Introduce Present syllabus, understand
students to the the students’ knowledge
2 on to
3 Social
subject and about
4 Movemen assess their Latin America and begin
ts current views studying Social Movements
5 3-4 1.1. Approaches Present main conceptual Read Macionis, J. Sociology.
to the study of perspectives on Social 2012, pages 548-554
social Movements and useful
movements elements for their study and
theoretical approaches
5-6 1.2. Collective Analyze the stages of Read Macionis, J. Sociology.
Actions: development of Social 2012, pages 555-557 and
Orientations Movements and the possible Christiansen, J. 4 stages of
from the applications in the Latin Social Movements. 2009.
individual to American context

7-8 1.3. Citizen Establish social action Read article: Melucci, A.

organizations perspectives and how they (1995). The Process of
and social co-exist with individual Collective Identity. In H.
movements actions and identities Johnston and B. Klandermans
(Eds.), Social Movements and
Culture, pp. 41-63.
1 Unit 2: 9-10 2.1.Overview of Present the social Eckstein, S. (2012). The Latin
New Latin American movements and civil society American Social Movement
2 Social Social
3 Movem
in Latin America at the end Repertoire How It Has
4 of the 20th century and Changed, When, and Why.
beginning of the 21st Struggles for Social Rights in
5 Latin America, 81-102.
11- 2.2. One Topic, Analyze Chilean Student Read article:
12 multiple Donoso, S. (2013). Dynamics of
Movements, Teacher
movements: Change in Chile: Explaining the
Movements and Unions, as Emergence of the Pingüino
well as Counter Movements Movement. Journal of Latin American
Movements and a visit from Benjamin Studies 45, 1-29.


13- 2.3. Bringing Present the case of Javier Read: “The Mexican
14 out the truth: Sicilia and the MPJD in Movement for Peace with
Movement for Mexico to stop Justice and Dignity: An
Peace and
consequences from the War Exploratory Analysis of its
Justice with
Dignity from on Drugs and the Drug Wars Origins and Development”
1 Unit 3: 15- 3.1. Latin Study the history and Read: Boyd, G.A. The Evolution
Social 16 American current situation of Madres, of a Social Movement: A Study
2 Movem movements Abuelas and Linea of the Madres de Plaza de
ents during the 20th
3 Fundadora of the Plaza de Mayo
against century: Plaza
mainstr de Mayo from Mayo Movements
eam Argentina
progres 17- 3.2. The fight Analyze evolution of the Read:Salman, T. 2010. “Social
s 18 for participation MAS from a Social movements in a split: Bolivia’s
in Politics: Movement to a Political protesters after their triumph”
Bolivian MAS
Party and their actions after
being elected to the Central
Government in Bolivia
19- 3.3. Culture and Present different Read article: Ana Lucía Salinas de
20 Ethnicity of movements and study in- Dosch. 2012. Understanding
Latin American depth the Mapuche Latin America indigenous
movement in Chile with a movements: From
visit from Juanita marginalisation to self-
Huenchumil determination and autonomy?
1 Unit 4: 21- 4.1. Civil Society Study the Landless Read article:
22 and Informal Caldeira, R. The Failed Marriage
Social Movement from Brazil and
2 Organization of between Women and the Landless
movem the aspects that make it one People’s Movement (MST) in Brazil.
3 ents of the biggest formal Journal of International Women’s
against Landless organizations from Civil Studies 10 (4), 237-258.
4 econom Society in LATAM
Wolford, W. The Difference
ic status from Brazil
5 Ethnography Can Make:
(quo) Understanding Social Mobilization
and Development in the Brazilian
Northeast. 2006. Qualitative
23- 4.2. Labour and Present cases and Read article:
24 survival: experiences, as well as how Ranis, P. (2005). Argentina’s
Worker they relate with economic Worker-Occupied Factories
goals and methods for and Enterprises. Socialism and
factories in
Argentina achieving success in Democracy 19(3), 1-23.


25- 4.3. Citizen Analyze anti-neoliberal Read: Syberts, J. 2013. “Que se

26 resistance: Anti- movements, mainly from vayan todos!: An Analysis of
neoliberal South America Antineoliberal Social
Movements in South
America”. Senior Theses,
Trinity College, Hartford, CT
1 Unit 5: 27- 5.1. Urban Present the use of Public To be determined
28 Development
The Spaces locally in Valparaiso
2 and public
struggle Chile. Mil Tambores, as a
spaces: Mil
4 for cultural expression brings
Tambores from
territor Valparaíso together people from all
5 y and areas of society
counter 29- 5.2. Ecology Analyze a movement that is News articles
culture 30 and the use of happening right now in
soil: Peasant Southern Peru, where
peasants are being
from Perú
repressed and have made
different decisions to react
31- 5.3. Critical Present shared and different Allison, M. 2003. Guerrilla
positions and aspects of Guerrilla Politics in Central America.
social change: Movements in Central Florida State University
Central and America
South American