Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Conflict Analysis & Resolution

Department

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

First Advisor

Marcia Sweedler

Second Advisor

Susanne Marshall

Third Advisor

Cheryl Duckworth

Abstract

In order to succeed in an intellectually, economically, socially, and politically controlled system, as México, one has to develop a sense of inner direction and empowerment, where critical thinking is vital yet patriarchy becomes an impediment to the development of an inner compass and empowerment when it shapes and controls the masses’ identity and behavior through different strategies, methods, and institutions. One of the most powerful and popular identity shaping strategies is film making. Film is considered by most as a source of entertainment portraying social interactions. Yet it is a powerful identity-shaping tool for the establishment. It has been used by the Mexican government and its associates, for a long time, in an effort to sustain the status quo and justify its existence and social performance. The selected methodology of this study allowed comparison and contrasting of messages transmitted about identity, behavior, role-identification, values, and life scripts, using films from three different periods of the development of México: agricultural (1920s-1950s), industrial (1950s-1990s), and neoliberal (1990s-today). Religion, social interactions, gender, ethnicity, and nation-states are some of the main themes that emerged from this exploration of identity and behavior shaping strategies used in the Mexican films analyzed. The Identity shaping strategies are an efficient way of dealing with conflict because controlling and constraining is done by the individuals rather than by the nation-state.

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