Latin America pp 257-285 | Cite as

Social Structure and Change: Latin America and the World

  • Robert C. Williamson


It is appropriate to place Latin American societies in a conceptual framework that calls for an analysis of the nature of social change and how it applies to the twenty republics. All complex societies display intervals of stability and crisis, harmony and conflict. Latin American nations are no exception, but are characterized by a greater degree of conflict, at least in recent decades, than are most Western nations. In this analysis we return to the issues of previous chapters—class, ethnicity, and the institutional fabric in order to understand the parameters of social change. Obviously, economic and political developments are powerful driving forces in shaping a society in its orientation to modernization, globalization, and democracy. Finally, we examine the place of Latin America in the world at large, particularly its relationship to the United States, as it is impossible to understand the area without considering the pressure of its northern neighbor.


Social Change Free Trade Agrarian Reform Economic Elite Death Squad 


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© Robert C. Williamson 2006

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  • Robert C. Williamson

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