CHAPTER 7: The Construction of the Modern Mexican 156
Chapter Seven The Construction of the Modern Mexican Under Miguel Aleman ( 1946-1952), economic growth became even more of a priority than it had under Avila Camacho. Responding to the nation's rapid urbanization and industrialization, many writers and filmmakers of the late 1940's and the early 1950's began to focus even greater attention on the construction of a modern national subject. Both were concerned with preparing Mexicans for participation in the emerging economy, but went about this task in different ways. On the one hand, many writers, and in particular essayists, pointed out Mexicans' character tlaws, in the hopes of inducing self-awareness and change. They were eager to assert Mexico as a modern nation that could compete with and defend itself against the more developed nations. They were particularly concerned about encroachments from the United States. At the same time, they wished to maintain the status quo, which promoted the interests of the newly emerging middle classes and valued the work of intellectuals like themselves. Many films, on the other hand, attempted to forge a modern national subject by providing Mexicans with models and codes of behavior. At the same time, they sought to reinforce many traditional, middle class values. They wished to help stem the social disintegration that can result from immigrants' sudden contact with modern lifestyles and values. They also sought to defuse class tensions resulting from the poor distribution of income and other social and economic inequalities. They attempted to accomplish this by idealizing the popular classes (as...
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