April 24, 2010

Papers etc

The absolute most grueling time of the semester is when I have to actually sit down and write the final papers...in a matter of days. Complain, complain, complain. So, here I am working on paper number one, which is about development in Baja California and the contradictions between national benefits and local costs. Tourism is often promulgated as the great panacea, but of course the benefits are pretty uneven. That's not really a new story. One interesting aspect to me is the fact that in general tourists remain pretty oblivious to the local political economies that surround tourism zones. They are kept pretty well insulated from the costs of tourism, and that's what helps keep things going. Politics create certain PR problems. Of course, it's not hard to figure out why tourism media focuses on white sand beaches and luxurious hotels. Somewhere in there I am going to talk about a couple of the key (faulty) assumptions of western economics--namely the abstract separation of "the economy" from the rest of society, and the basic assumption that self-interested market behaviors will lead to the supposed public good.

Ya, now I just have to write it.

Paper number two will be about the use of the internet FOR development purposes and ALSO as a tool to resist development.

Paper number three...what's that one about again? Oh, that's going to be a wandering paper that talks about the various different theorists we discussed this semester and how I plan on incorporating some of their ideas into what I am doing.

After that I have to grade 50 something tests, and then 50 something final papers, and then I am home free. Well, after my wife and I pack up our house and put everything into storage for the summer. THEN we're home free. Which basically means Mexico and California for the summer.

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