Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Within the world economy, and Wallerstein’s world-systems theory, Mexico is an example of the semi-periphery that Wallerstein expounds. According to Allan (2007), semi-periphery states act much like core states. These states are in transition from being a land of exploitation to being a part of the core. Semi-periphery states also export exploitation and exploit those within their own nations (Allan, 2007). Within semi-periphery states exists a periphery population. In Mexico, the periphery could include the mestizo population. According to Allan (2007), the relationship between core (and semi-periphery) nations and the periphery is one of production processes and profit. However, the periphery, as well, can be further divided. Indigenous groups within Mexico could be considered the periphery of the periphery (Weaver, 1996). The periphery of the periphery is defined by simple economic systems. These societies are ones that subsist on hunting and gathering, pastoralism, horticulture, and fishing. Just as the core extracts resources from the semi-periphery, and the semi-periphery extracts resources from the periphery, the periphery also extracts capital and labor resources from the periphery of the periphery (Weaver, 1996).

Do core states have a semi-periphery, a periphery, and a periphery of the periphery? Discuss some examples of each group, and how resources are extracted from each.

Allan, K. (2007). The Social Lens: An Invitation to Social and Sociological Theory. California: Pine Forge Press.

Appelrouth, S., and Edles, L. (2008). Classical and Contemporary Sociological Theory. California: Pine Forge Press.

Weaver, T. (1996). Mapping the Policy Terrain: Political Economy, Policy, Environment, and Forestry Production in Northern Mexico. Journal of Political Ecology. Volume 3.

1 comment:

  1. I think all core systems have their own periphery, semi-periphery, periphery of the periphery. The U.S. for example functions because there is a small group of very wealthy people who supply capital for investment and through investment and lobbying push for certain legislation that benefits only their own small groups. The periphery is the middle class, who work for wages and depend on the capital invested by the core group in order to make a living. The semi-periphery is the working class, those who can only make minimum wage paying jobs because they can't invest in their own skills for improvement within their own group. The periphery of the periphery is, thus, illegal aliens- those who aren't even represented by the laws except to criminalize their very existence- or exploit. At least indigenous groups in Mexico have the protection of the laws- the US goes to extremes to keep the chain of profit through exploitation alive and well!