Questions about dependence and independence are of crucial importance in relation to Latin America, given the region's history and its current situation. They are particularly relevant at this time, with the bicentenary of independence being celebrated throughout the region. This book examines central issues relating to these two notions in the Latin American context, offering twelve different studies of the themes in question, six of which cover sociology and politics and six of which examine topics in literary and cultural studies. The breadth of the subject matter considered in the volume reflects the wide range of issues that the ideas of dependence and independence raise in this political and geographical context, including, among others: identity, hegemony, wealth and poverty, discursive power, the role of civil society, language and gender. The contributors offer new insights into the fields examined, from discussions of the significance of cultural products such as literary works and films to a consideration of the validity of the concept of independence to ongoing efforts to alleviate poverty and assert national autonomy. As a uniquely interdisciplinary and multi-focused collection of essays, the book offers readers an excellent overview of these issues as they relate to Latin America today.