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Social Separation

Justin Raisor '07

    During our stay in Mexico City, I have been focusing on analyzing the various socio-economic statuses seen throughout the city.  I am working on this, to help further my analysis of the Porfirio Diaz Regime and the U.S.-Mexico relations from 1870-1920, which is my final paper topic. 

    Diaz furthered the division between the lower and upper classes within Mexico through his various actions as president.  Through the first three days in Mexico City, I have seen these distinctions in S.E.S.  The neighborhood we are currently staying in near the “Revolucion” metro-stop, is of lower-middle class.  The buildings, sidewalks, and roads are by no means in the best conditions.  Venders in this area have their various goods typically directly on the sidewalk for sale.  Further, I have seen more “beggers” throughout this area as well. 

    Although this does not necessarily define a social class, it does give an example of the individuals living in the neighborhood. 

    Contrastingly, Coyocan, the neighborhood we visited today, is an upper class area.  This area was defined by the two to three story housing as well as the materials these immaculate buildings were made of.  A majority of these houses also had some type of high-rise fence surrounding the entire property.  The sidewalks in this area were in better condition as well, the roads were smoother compared to the area we are currently staying in.  The markets in the Coyocan area were usually under a tarp.  The main marketing area was inside a building, which offered a better environment for shopping. 

    In discussing the various jobs of both areas, I have seen that a large percent of people work in some type of market selling.  Although I have not talked to anyone about the various jobs within Mexico, it is apparent there are many citizens trying to survive the inner-city conditions by selling various homemade crafts and goods.  Overall, this experience is huge in helping me create new identifications for social classing as well as the previous stereotypes I held about the inner-city Mexican society.


    In Photo: Scene of a typical market in the city.