Policy Direction and Discourses Changes of the Mexican Anti-poverty Programme Progresa-Oportunidades
Gervacio Flores, Noemi Alondra
Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. Graduate School of International and Area Studies
Yang, Yun Jeong
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Policy Direction and Discourses Changes of the Mexican Anti-poverty Programme Progresa-Oportunidades Progresa-Oportunidades is a programme that aims to enhance human capital, however, its actions have direct and indirect effects on social relations. On the one hand, there is a positive effect in strengthening the social relations between individuals and families, particularly within women's group it is noted that there is a process of building a new social identity. On the other hand, there is evidence of conflict and breaks ties in social relations at the community level, in response to the division created by the selection system of beneficiary families relations. Hence, this research aims to analyse the extent to which the concept of social capital has been reflected in the design and practices of the Oportunidades during the last 15 years. For that, in this investigation is conducted a discourse analysis of government documents in order to compare two particular moments over the reforms of the programme whereby any changes in social capital philosophy and position are expected to be examined, complemented by an ethnographic study of the actual operations of the institution in charge of the programme. Thus, the findings suggest first, that in the main reform 2002-2006, features related to social capital like 'social cohesion' were included. Additionally, from 2007 the programme now seeks to create relationships between the beneficiaries and the government, and strengthen the social networks. However, the programme does not attempt to promote social capital of bridging or linking since its participatory process is unilateral. These results indicate that in the Oportunidades' discourses, elements regarding the concept of social capital were found, however, in practice it does not include a mechanism to enhance the social capital.