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PL30888: Rebellion and utopia in Latin American popular struggles

[Page last updated: 05 August 2021]

Academic Year: 2021/2
Owning Department/School: Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Semester 2
Assessment Summary: CW20ES80
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Assessment detail data for this unit is currently being updated as a change has been approved. Updated assessment information will be published here shortly.
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Aims: This unit will offer a comprehensive overview of contemporary social movements in Latin America, including analysis of the roles of workers, human rights, indigenous peoples, revolutionaries, students, the middle class and the unemployed. The unit will explore the process of formation, evolution and decline of aforementioned social movements over the 20th and 21st Century across different Latin American countries. Through the study social movements in context, the unit will address the following conceptual themes: socio-political conflict, political identity, private and public sphere, democracy, discourse, ideology, utopia, rebellion and insubordination.

Learning Outcomes: Upon completing the unit students will:
* be able to provide accurate knowledge on the evolution of social movements over time in Latin America
* be have the analytical skills to able to identify specialised literature as independent learners
* be able to understand key theoretical notions in political sociology
* have developed analytical and critical skills in the field of social movements
* have further developed their writing and speaking skills in Spanish.

Skills: Critical analysis, independent learning, precision in written and spoken Spanish, presentational skills, reasoned argument, team work, research methods.

Content: 1. Rebellion, utopia and popular struggles in Latin America: introductory notes
2. Workers' movements: from anarcho-syndicalism to the formation of corporatist trade unions. Case study: the CGT Argentina
3. Revolutionary movements: Guevarismo and anti-imperialist organisations. Case study: Sandinismo.
4. Student movements: universal education and claiming participation. Case study. 1968, the student movement in Mexico and present students' movement in Chile.
5. Human rights movements: challenging dictatorship and social codes. Case study: The mothers' of Plaza de Mayo.
6. The unemployed, the landless: neoliberal hegemony, crises of traditional forms of solidarity and the emergence of new collective organisational patterns. Case study: MST in Brazil.
7. Indigenous movements: forming new constituencies and claiming new rights. Case study: Zapatistas in Mexico and Buen Vivir in Ecuador.
8. Middle class movements: urban social protests and disillusioned youth. Case study: the anti-world cup protest movement in Brazil.
9. A critical assessment of popular struggles and democracy in contemporary Latin America: utopia, disappointment and social change.

Programme availability:

PL30888 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies
  • UHPL-AYB18 : BA(Hons) Modern Languages and European Studies (French and Spanish) with Year Abroad (Year 4)
  • UHPL-AYB23 : BA(Hons) Modern Languages and European Studies (German and Spanish) with Year Abroad (Year 4)
  • UHPL-AYB20 : BA(Hons) Modern Languages and European Studies (Spanish and ab initio Italian) with Year Abroad (Year 4)
  • UHPL-AYB17 : BA(Hons) Spanish and Politics with Year Abroad (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AYB06 : BSc(Hons) International Management and Modern Languages (Spanish) with Year Abroad (Year 4)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2021/22 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2022/23 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2021/22.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
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