SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

 issue72Key factors that enable the peasants in the cabuyal territorial subdivision in the municipality of Palmira, Valle del Cauca, Colombia to endureThe indigenous question in mexico and latin america author indexsubject indexsearch form
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand




Related links

  • Have no similar articlesSimilars in SciELO


Textual: análisis del medio rural latinoamericano

On-line version ISSN 2395-9177Print version ISSN 0185-9439

Textual anál. medio rural latinoam.  n.72 Chapingo Jul./Dec. 2018


Book review

Sociology, education and human capital: processes and periods of agricultural education in mexico

Ezequiel Arvizu Barrón1 

1Universidad Autónoma Chapingo, Departamento de Sociología Rural, carretera México-Texcoco, km 38.5, Chapingo, Texcoco, Estado de México. Catedrático CONACYT en el IISEHMER. Email:

Ramos García, Francisco; Victorino Ramírez, Liberio. Sociología, educación y capital humano: procesos y momentos de la educación agropecuaria en México. primera edición, 2017. Ediciones Académicas Española, Madrid: 608p. ISBN: 978-3-639-53896-0.

The book SOCIOLOGY, EDUCATION AND HUMAN CAPITAL: processes and periods of agricultural education in Mexico, in its first edition 2017, published by Ediciones Académicas Española, Madrid, 608 pages in its electronic version, with ISBN 978-3-639-53896-0, is the result of theoretical reflections and experiences by the authors, Francisco Ramos García and Liberio Victorino Ramírez , with students and professors of higher education institutions in the agricultural field; it shows the political, teaching and learning processes in the Mexican countryside, from the pre-Columbian period to the six-year presidential term of Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018).

The book consists of three chapters, each one detailing antecedents, historical moments, structural changes in the agricultural school, community management and institutional vision in the establishment of the school, as well as political issues between the worker and his relationship with trade unionism.

The general approach of the text refers to questions related to the construction of the agricultural school, specifically whether it was a matter of planning or circumstances, in order to help understand the organization and planning of national agricultural education and teacher unionism. The study topic is the agricultural schools of the state of Oaxaca, with the aim being to determine their educational relevance and focus.

Chapter one takes a historical look at agricultural education at the high school level, during its various stages: pre-Columbian, reform, revolution, post-revolution, and modern times. For example, during the post-revolution era (1911-1924), the creation of various forms of teaching was promoted: rural cultural missions (1923); the Rural Teacher Training School (1926) and Antonio Narro University, today called Antonio Narro Autonomous Agricultural University (UAAAN for its initials in Span ish). The first was formed by small groups of itinerant teachers who reinforced rural community teachers with intense but short courses of practical application in questions of agriculture, small industries, physical culture and social education; with a defined work plan, the Department of Cultural Missions was created, dependent on the Secretariat of Public Education (SEP for its initials in Spanish), in 1926. The first Rural Teacher Training Schools (1926) operated in spaces adapted for this purpose in haciendas, church parishes and convents. These schools served as boarding schools, and the students were pedagogically prepared with practical knowledge in agriculture and livestock activities, trades and rural industries, in order to promote the progress of the communities. From its inception, Antonio Narro University had a social educational approach and mixed method, with European and North American influence.

An important period in which to view the graduates of agricultural schools was the 1982 crisis, a watershed event that motivated them to be more creative and innovative. As a result of this event, the curricula were modified in 1985. The result was the creation of an allround agricultural technician capable of self-employment, with the ability to understand and carry out complex productive processes, such as marketing, administration, social and ecological aspects, and promotion of regional crops and species. Productive student projects would be the strategy for the development of the rural sector. During the six-year presidential terms of Vicente Fox and Felipe Calderón, they related educational quality and the development of competencies to work and links with the productive sector.

Chapter 2 deals with the social and productive relationships between the school and the different agricultural and productive regions of Oaxaca. The authors highlight the importance of the composition in the organization of agricultural production from the official educational policy and local organizations of the agricultural and rural communities in Oaxaca. This section begins with the question, is the agricultural school in Oaxaca necessary? It explains the way in which the approach of the agricultural school in Oaxaca changed, from a focus on peasants and producers to a focus on “clients.” Now, seeing the peasant as a high-performance producer who only needed inputs and machinery to take off is the dominant conception in the Centros de Bachillerato Tecnológicos Agropecuarios (Agricultural Technology Baccalaureate Centers, known by the Spanish initials CBTAs).

Another interesting topic is the institutionality of Freemasonry in the activities of the people who held positions ranging from middle managers to executives. The aim of the Freemasons is the search for truth, the philosophical study of human behavior, science and the arts, and the promotion of the social and moral development of human beings. The workers, with emphasis on those who held a management position in campuses and brigades, were “invited” to participate from Friday thru Sunday in Freemasonry courses. Brigade leaders and promoters chose them, i.e. they were selected. There was almost no way to not accept and less to get out, as it was like an act of disobedience to their higher-up bosses. The courses were aimed at emphasizing their mission, which was “never to forsake, always to be united.” To register as a Freemason in Oaxaca, they took them to solitary places with thorns and glass, such as cemeteries and forests, to prove their courage, strength and loyalty.

Chapter three addresses the psycho-socio-cultural issues of the Mexican and Oaxacan in modernity, since there are regions that have similarities, but also great differences due to the poverty and concentrated wealth conditions. This chapter seeks to know and understand how Mexicans and Oaxacans are, the reason for their worldviews, actions and feelings. The Oaxacan, having a multicultural origin profile, is diverse and complex; Oaxaca is a state with at least 16 ethnic groups that cannot be conjoined into a single being.

There are three basic premises that significantly define the character of the Mexican, which locates him as more than an essence, as a history: the indigenous, colonization era and modern Western being. The Mexican reproduces himself from the family, school and society, and is characterized by: his passivity that leads to omission; socialization with the environment, and being tendentious to love, equality and power. The Mexican is obedient and self-sacrificing, as well as courageous and persevering in times of demand, but his sense of inferiority and insecurity diminishes him when under pressure and attack.

On the other hand, the Oaxacan, with his multiculturalism and biodiversity, is disciplined, persevering in his purposes and communal in search of consensus. He is a lover of the spiritual, idolatrous to the point of being superstitious. The wild ecosystems have made him courageous and resilient, but at the same time docile and affiliative. He is honest, hardworking and intelligent, and his pre-Columbian condition and worldview make him idealistic and passionate about freedom; he is responsible for his acts with dignity and honor to the point of being proud. However, festivities impassion him, commit him, and liberate him; he is docile and kind to the point of being obeisant and tolerating aggressions and illtreatment. He collectivizes when facing problems and fights for his ideals.

In this sense the sociocultural characteristics of the Oaxacan and Mexican are different; an Oaxacan is not homogeneous, but rather a person of contrasts, due to his sociocultural, historical and environmental formation. All these differences make them different and explain the way in which they approach problems, learning, trade unionism, festivities, for all their lives.

It is an interesting work that required a thorough and historical analysis of the formation, development and current problems of agricultural education in the country. The differences in the psycho-socio-culture of the Oaxacan explain how he relates to his environment, how he applies them at school, in administration and in trade unionism; he cannot pretend to be another.

Creative Commons License Este es un artículo publicado en acceso abierto bajo una licencia Creative Commons