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The Milagro Beanfield War

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The Milagro Beanfield War

Who would ever think that using water could get a whole community of people mad at you? Well, the main character in the movie Joe Mondragon, didn’t really think much about using the communities water to water his bean field. When the people found out that Joe was “stealing” the water they were upset, mad, and wanted him to stop. This just goes to show that no matter what you do, you can’t please everybody. Society affects peoples behaviors in many different ways.

This movie takes place in New Mexico during the 1980's. During this time New Mexico had already established five out of the six types of societies. These societies include: Foraging, Pastoral, Horticultural, Agrarian and Industrial. The people had social support to provide physical and psychological protection from the environment. They also developed a system of values and beliefs that they will use in order to survive. They had an efficient and progressive plan for organizing societal activities that they also used to survive. And finally they had created and were using all the available tools and labor that they needed to satisfy their physical and social needs for survival.

The type of society that is illustrated in the film is the Industrial society. I knew this because they were past the hunting and gather stage because they didn’t have to go out every night and shoot an animal so they could eat. They were past the pastoral stage because there weren’t any nomadic or domestic animals. They were also past the domestic crops and the large scale crops. The people did have technology so therefore they were in the industrial society. The people were not out using spears and rocks to kill their food. But instead they had guns. I know that they weren’t quite in the Post-Industrial society because the people did not have computers or internet or any high tech gadgets. Instead they were using typewriters to type their paper which came out twice a month, they had radios, a few people had t.v. and the rich had cell phones. But, their cell phones were not like anything we have today.

The institutions in New Mexico were simple but they were all there. They did have politics because they had a town sheriff, Bernie, a mayor, Cantu, a governor and townspeople. They did have economics, the construction crew was building and working independently. Education was available, they had schools, teachers and students and buses that took the children to school. Religion was also a part of their lives because it was practiced by the elders in their society and it was also practiced by the younger generations. Health care was also quite simple because they didn’t have a doctor but they did however have a nurse. And of course there was family.

Their social groups were also simple. They had several people who interacted with each other and they shared goals and norms. For example, the people believed that the elders had the wisdom and experience that was needed to guide society’s members. All of the people in the community had a close relationship with each other. All of the different groups all got along and came together in bad times to help each other out. They were all their for each other.

The Hispanic peoples division of labor was not very complex but was simple. For example, the men did the manual work and the women stayed home with the kids, cooking and cleaning. Joes’s father had raised crops, so Joe raised crops so he did not have to do migrant work. The men were sent out into the fields to work and to bring home the money.

During the 1980s, in New Mexico there was very little technology. They did not have fancy sport cars or washing machines, cordless phones or computers. Many of them did not have t.v.’s or even vehicles. They did have technology, but it just was not advanced. The people used word-of-mouth as their source of media. For example, when Joe planted his bean field, everyone in the town was running around spreading the news to people.

The Hispanic people had very strong view on religion and family. They said that they must be grateful for live and that they should live life to the fullest. For example, every morning when Almarante would wake up, he would thank God for another day. They believed that prayer would make everything in life better. They also believed that family was there to provide physical, emotional and social support. They would all join together to protect one another. They also believed that the elders had the wisdom and experience needed to guide society’s members. They respected the elders.

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