This trip will explore the culture, politics, economics and natural habitats of Argentina. Students will gain an understanding of how Argentina deals with a variety of environmental and social questions. In addition to visiting several areas in southern Argentina, one of the main focuses of this trip will be to explore how Argentina balances the preservation of one of the world's environmental wonders - the Perito Moreno Glacier- with its political and economic interests of increasing tourism to the area, and by extension increasing the amount of tourist dollars that flow into all of Argentina. Additionally, this trip will serve as a significant experience for any of you who are looking for a trip that takes you to a natural wonder like nowhere else on earth.
Students will be required to synthesize trip material (both the readings and empirical observations in Argentina) for a final presentation. Students will be divided into three groups based upon an emphasis on political/economic issues, socio/cultural issues, and environmental issues. Students will examine the following questions as part of their studies:
How is the stability of the Argentine political system influenced by the current economy?
What role do street protests play in the politics of Argentina today?
How does corruption play a role in the political, economic, and social culture of Argentina?
Discuss symbols, language, territory, values and norms as elements of Argentine culture. In what ways are these dimensions of culture in Argentina similar to, and different from, those in the United States?
How do symbols, language and values influence a wide variety of normative social practices (e.g., language, greetings, personal space, social sanctions, manners, eating, etc.)?
How would the various sociological perspectives (i.e., functionalism, conflict theory and symbolic interaction) explain the role of culture in Argentina? How would these explanations differ from their explanations of culture in the United States? What are the similarities and differences?
How do symbols, language and values influence a wide variety of normative social practices regarding various kinds of territory in Argentina (e.g., private spaces, public spaces, tourist areas/attractions, etc.).
How does Buenos Aires (i.e., its people, geography, culture, etc.) differ from the southern region of Argentina (i.e., Patagonia)?
What effect does tourism have on the Argentine economy?
How is the environment used as a way to bring in tourist dollars?
How does Argentina care for its environmental resources?
Is Argentine ecotourism policy best explained by functionalist or conflict theorists? Why?
How does Argentina balance its need for tourist money with its need to preserve fragile eco-systems?
Professor’s Travel Philosophy
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