The Economic Crisis Presents Contradictions and Opportunities

The nature of this economic crises is rooted in an economic structure whose primary interests are focused on profit and not on the well-being of the majority of people nationally and globally.  The structure itself is held responsible for a melt-down of financial institutions and millions of workers hurled into unemployment, poverty, hunger and homelessness.

[one_half]In keeping with their defense of benefiting the top wealthy 1%, the right-wing is advancing a united front of: less regulations for corporations; letting supply and demand rule; letting the market work on its own; with no taxes (particularly at the top); with a consistent view that riches at the top will eventually trickle down to the working people; while blaming undocumented immigrants, people of color, union members, LGBT communities, poor people, and third world countries for the state of the economy.

The issue of planning in the interests of the majority is a key issue.  The character of this economic system is that it has the highest level of planning in individual corporations that do everything competitively to reap the most profits.  However, there is a lack of planning on a national and international level rather than a culture of collectivity dominating to use the earth’s resources to solve the many problems threatening our survival, there is a culture of greed and selfishness in the forefront.

The economic crisis is creating an opportunity for transformation. There is a need to advance a dialogue on the contradictions inherent in this economy, deepen research on the new local and global economic models that are emerging, and promote the growth of a movement based on the creation of transformative structural models of equity.

With the inability of traditional politics and politicians internationally not being able to come up with viable solutions to a growing economic crisis, there is a growing movement to advance theories and practices for a new economy

This movement is one that is based on rethinking the nature of ownership and rethinking the definition of “growth” as a basis for gauging whether there is progress..

This is an area where we can build on our common work: how to build examples of “systemic change”   where the resources are used for a new type of growth that is rooted in creating a better quality of life for all.  This can include worker-owned companies, cooperatives, and social enterprises that use the people’s resources for serving just and equitable community-building goals.[/one_half]

[one_half_last]This also includes the organizing of spaces of collectivity that can move from policy change within the local areas in to larger and broader change.  An example is how, in the state of California, community-based coalitions have challenged the federal government’s immigration enforcement policies by organizing and passing legislation allowing undocumented students, not only to go to college, but to receive financial aid.  In the city of Pomona, a coalition of pro-immigrant organizations, Pomona Habla (that includes the Latino and Latina Roundtable), changed city council policies that discriminated against undocumented immigrants and were part of a larger movement resulting in the passage of a statewide bill allowing anyone stopped at a checkpoint without a driver’s license to have someone come and pick up their car.  This will kill the millions of dollars being made by the tow truck and impoundment companies.  The governor, as a result of these movements, also signed a bill that called for “neither California nor any of its cities, counties, or special districts require an employer to use E-Verify as a condition of receiving a government contract, applying for or maintaining a business license, or as a penalty for violating licensing o other similar laws.”   Now, these same coalitions are part of statewide coalitions that are advancing organized efforts to enact policies that will give qualified undocumented immigrants who pay state income taxes the option to enter a program whose participants will gain relief from federal enforcement and whose labor will be decriminalized.

The strength of these efforts is that they continue to build the collective capacities of our communities in advancing new directions for a more just and democratic society.[/one_half_last]

Other Publications by Dr Calderon

As a community-based participant ethnographer, Dr. Calderon has published numerous articles and studies based on his community experiences and observations.

Selected publications include:

  • One Activist Intellectual’s Experience in Surviving and Transforming the Academy,” in Transforming the Ivory Tower: Critical Analyses of Sexism, Homophobia, and Racism in the Academy, edited by Mary Danico and Brett Stockdill, University of Hawaii Press, Forthcoming, Spring, 2012.
  • Perspective-Taking as a Tool for Building Democratic Societies in Diversity & Democracy, Volume 14, No 1, 2010
  • Review of Mexican Migration and the U. S. Economic Crisis: A Transnational Perspective, edited by Wayne A. Cornelius, David Fitzgerald, Pedro Lewin Fischer, and Leah Muse-Orlinoff in Contemporary Sociology: A Journal of Reviews, July, 2010.
  • Lessons from an Activist Intellectual: Participatory Research, Teaching, and Learning for Social Change,  in Latin American Perspectives, Issue 134, vol. 31, 1/04:81-94 and republished in Ethnic Studies Research: Approaches and Perspectivesby editor Timothy P. Fong, 2008
  • Partnership in Teaching and Learning: Combining the Practice of Critical Pedagogy with Civic Engagement and Diversityin Diversity and Democracy: Civic Learning for Shared Futures, Vol. 11, No. 2, Spring, 2008 and republished together with another article, “Connecting Classroom Pedagogies to Community-Based Service Learning” in Diversity and Democracy: Civic Learning for Shared Futures, Vol. 11, No. 2, Spring, 2008.
  • An edited book: Race, Poverty, and Social Justice: Multidisciplinary Perspectives Through Service Learning, Stylus Publishing, 2007
  • An article in the edited book with Professor Gilbert Cadena, Linking Critical Democratic Pedagogy, Multiculturalism, and Service Learning to a Project-Based Approach  in Race, Poverty, and Social Justice: Multidisciplinary Perspectives Through Service Learning, Stylus Publishing, 2007
  • “Operation Return to Sender: A Historical Pattern of Immigration Raids,”  Relay Magazine, Open Door Press, Winnipeg, Canada, July/August, 2007.
  • Organizing Immigrant Workers: Action Research and Strategies in the Pomona Day Labor Center”,  in Latino Los Angeles, (edited by Enrique C. Ochoa and Gilda Laura Ochoa), 2006
  • “Rose M. Calderon” in Latinas in the U. S.: A Historical Encyclopedia. edited by Vickie L. Ruiz and Virginia Sanchez Korral, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006.
  • Syllabi and Instructional Materials for Chicano/a and Latino/a Studies in Sociology, Sixth edition (edited with Gilda Ochoa),  American Sociological Association Teaching Resource Center, 2006
  • Inclusion or Exclusion: One Immigrant’s Experience of Cultural and Structural Barriers to Power Sharing and Unity, in Minority Voices, edited by John Meyers, Allyn and Bacon, 2004.
  • Review of Shifting Borders, Rhetoric, Immigration, and California’s Proposition 187 by Kent A. Ono and John M. Sloop in Contemporary Sociology: A Journal of Reviews, Vol. 33, No. 1, January, 2004.
  • A Break of Consciousness.” In Educational Foundations: An Anthology , edited by Roselle K. Chartock. 78 – 82 New Jersey : Prentice-Hall, Inc., 2000.
  • Review of Between Two Nations:  The Political Predicament of Latinos in New York City by Michael Jones –Correa in Contemporary Sociology: A Journal of Reviews, Vol. 29, No. 3, May, 2000.
  • Interview by Sandra Enos. “A Multicultural and Critical Perspective on Teaching Through Community.” In Cultivating the Sociological Imagination: Concepts and Models for Service-Learning in Sociology , edited by James Ostrow, Gary Hesser, And Sandra Enos. Washington, D. C.: American Association of Higher Education American Sociological Association, 1999.
  • One Participant’s View of Cuba,”  Critical Sociology, Vol. 25, #1, 1999.
  • Multi-Ethnic Coalition Building in a Diverse School District, in Critical Sociology, Volume 21, No. 1, 1995
  • Doing Sociology: Connecting the Classroom Experience with a Multiethnic School District, in Teaching Sociology, Volume 24, January, 1996
  • “An Essay on Sources of Inter-Community Conflict and Models of Collaboration.”  Journal of California Politics and Policy.  Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Institute of Public Affairs, California Statue University, L. A., 1998.
  • The Politics of Diversity: Immigration, Resistance, and Change in Monterey Park, California (John Horton with Jose Calderon, Mary Pardo, Leland Saito, Linda Shaw, and Yen Fen Tseng).  Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1995.
  • “Multi-Ethnic Coalition Building in a Diverse School District.”  Critical Sociology, 21,1 (1995): 101-111.
  • “The Media As Deviant in the Rodney King Incident.”  In The Image of Violence, Selected Papers, Society for the Interdisciplinary Study of Social Imagery, Edited Will Wright and Steve Kaplan.  University of Southern Colorado, Fall, 1995.
  • Review for October, 1993 (Vol. II, Number 1) “Notas” Newsletter of the Section On Latina and Latino Sociology of the American Sociological Association, Rebellious Lawyering: One Chicano’ Vision of Progressive Law Practice by Gerald P. Lopez, Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1992
  • “Hispanic and Latino:  The Viability of Categories for Panethnic Unity.”  Latin American Perspectives, June 1992.
  • “Language Struggles in a Changing California Community.”  Source Book on Official English, (With John Horton) edited by Jim Crawford, University of Chicago Press, 1990.
  • “Latinos and Ethnic Conflict in Suburbia:  The Case of Monterey Park.”  Latino Studies Journal,, Vol. 1, No. 2, May, 1990.
  • “How the English Only Initiative Passed in California.”  Chicano Studies and the Politics of Community, Ann Arbor, MI, 1988.
  • “Latinos, Ethnic Conflict, and Political Trends: the case of Monterey Park.” Chicano Studies and the Politics Community, Ann Arbor, MI, 1988.



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