Closing Lecture Remarks

Understanding capitalism’s influence over our everyday lives and not just the historical past is a lifelong endeavor most of us may be discouraged to undertake. Even so, this does not limit the role and impact of capitalism over our lives, decision-making, and prospects about what comes next for us as individuals, households, nation, and the world.

So much of our own circumstances are engrained in class differences produced by capitalism and it’s initial primitive accumulation through colonization and imperialism. In fact, who is eligible for citizenship and the path for each is different depending on your economic class under capitalism. For example, a Mexican millionaire can automatically qualify for U.S. citizenship when they make a million-dollar investment in the U.S. Meanwhile, a Mexican citizen may work all their adult lives in the U.S. paying taxes and contributing to their local community but be denied citizenship for crossing the border without proper documents.

Takaki casts Mexicans in A Different Mirror as immigrants, but that is not entirely true. Immigrants come from Asia, Europe, and Middle East. The indigenous populations of North America can hardly be described as immigrants. The notion of nations, however, turns many indigenous tribes and people who are natives into “immigrants” equatable to Europeans who came on ships. This example of who is assigned as an immigrant is another example of hegemony and its tremendous influence in the way we interpret knowledge and language to reproduce social relations that maintain elite rule and dominance.

Now is your opportunity to demonstrate your ability to utilize course concepts and incorporate case studies in producing knowledge through cultural criticism in writing.