University of Pittsburgh Press

Pitt Latin American Series

John Charles Chasteen and Catherine M. Conaghan, Editors

Published by: University of Pittsburgh Press

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Gender, State, and Medicine in Highland Ecuador

Modernizing Women, Modernizing the State, 1895-1950

A. Kim Clark

In 1921 Matilde Hidalgo became the first woman physician to graduate from the Universidad Central in Quito, Ecuador. Hidalgo was also the first woman to vote in a national election and the first to hold public office. Author Kim Clark relates the stories of Matilde Hidalgo and other women who successfully challenged newly instituted Ecuadorian state programs in the wake of the Liberal Revolution of 1895. New laws, while they did not specifically outline women’s rights, left loopholes wherein women could contest entry into education systems and certain professions and vote in elections. As Clark demonstrates, many of those who seized these opportunities were unattached women who were socially and economically disenfranchised. Political and social changes during the liberal period drew new groups into the workforce. Women found novel opportunities to pursue professions where they did not compete directly with men. Training women for work meant expanding secular education systems and normal schools. Healthcare initiatives were also introduced that employed and targeted women to reduce infant mortality, eradicate venereal diseases, and regulate prostitution. Many of these state programs attempted to control women’s behavior under the guise of morality and honor. Yet highland Ecuadorian women used them to better their lives and to gain professional training, health care, employment, and political rights. As they engaged state programs and used them for their own purposes, these women became modernizers and agents of change, winning freedoms for themselves and future generations.

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I Sweat the Flavor of Tin

Labor Activism in Early Twentieth-Century Bolivia

Robert L. Smale

On June 4, 1923, the Bolivian military turned a machine gun on striking miners in the northern Potosí town of Uncía. The incident is remembered as Bolivia’s first massacre of industrial workers. The violence in Uncía highlights a formative period in the development of a working class who would eventually challenge the oligarchic control of the nation. Robert L. Smale begins his study as Bolivia’s mining industry transitioned from silver to tin; specifically focusing on the region of Oruro and northern Potosí. The miners were part of a heterogeneous urban class alongside artisans, small merchants, and other laborers. Artisan mutual aid societies provided miners their first organizational models and the guidance to emancipate themselves from the mine owners’ political tutelage. During the 1910s both the Workers’ Labor Federation and the Socialist Party appeared in Oruro to spur more aggressive political action. In 1920 miners won a comprehensive contract that exceeded labor legislation debated in Congress in the years that followed. Relations between the working class and the government deteriorated soon after, leading to the 1923 massacre in Uncía. Smale ends his study with the onset of the Great Depression and premonitions of war with Paraguay—twin cataclysms that would discredit the old oligarchic order and open new horizons to the labor movement.This period’s developments marked the entry of workers and other marginalized groups into Bolivian politics and the acquisition of new freedoms and basic rights. These events prefigure the rise of Evo Morales—a union activist born in Oruro—in the early twenty-first century.

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Making Citizens in Argentina

Edited by Benjamin Bryce and David M.K. Sheinin

Making Citizens in Argentina charts the evolving meanings of citizenship in Argentina from the 1880s to the 1980s. Against the backdrop of immigration, science, race, sport, populist rule, and dictatorship, the contributors analyze the power of the Argentine state and other social actors to set the boundaries of citizenship. They also address how Argentines contested the meanings of citizenship over time, and demonstrate how citizenship came to represent a great deal more than nationality or voting rights. In Argentina, it defined a person’s relationships with, and expectations of, the state. Citizenship conditioned the rights and duties of Argentines and foreign nationals living in the country. Through the language of citizenship, Argentines explained to one another who belonged and who did not. In the cultural, moral, and social requirements of citizenship, groups with power often marginalized populations whose societal status was more tenuous. Making Citizens in Argentina also demonstrates how workers, politicians, elites, indigenous peoples, and others staked their own claims to citizenship.

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Media, Sound, and Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean

This edited volume presents an original analysis of the role of sound in Latin American and Caribbean societies, from the late nineteenth century to the present. The contributors examine the importance of sound in the purveyance of power, gender roles, race, community, religion, and populism. They also demonstrate how sound is essential to the formation of citizenship and nationalism.

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Medicine and Politics in Colonial Peru

Population Growth and the Bourbon Reforms

Adam Warren

By the eighteenth century, Peru had witnessed the decline of its silver industry and massive population losses due to smallpox and other diseases. It was widely believed toward the century’s end that economic salvation was contingent upon increasing the labor force and maintaining as many healthy workers as possible. In Medicine and Politics in Colonial Peru, Adam Warren presents a groundbreaking study of the primacy placed on medical care to generate population growth during this period. The Bourbon reforms of the eighteenth century shaped many of the political, economic, and social interests of Spain and its colonies. In Peru, local elites saw the reforms as an opportunity to positively transform society and its conceptions of medicine and medical institutions. Creole physicians, in particular, took advantage of Bourbon reforms to wrest control of medical treatment away from the Catholic Church, establish their own medical expertise, and create a new, secular medical culture. But during the early years of independence, the doctors lost much of their influence, and medical reforms ground to a halt. As Warren’s study reveals, despite falling in and out of political favor, Bourbon reforms and creole physicians were instrumental to the founding of modern medicine in Peru.

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The Politics of Motherhood

Maternity and Women’s Rights in Twentieth-Century Chile

Jadwiga E. Pieper Mooney

With the 2006 election of Michelle Bachelet as the first female president and women claiming fifty percent of her cabinet seats, the political influence of Chilean women has taken a major step forward. Despite a seemingly liberal political climate, Chile has a murky history on women's rights, and progress has been slow, tenuous, and in many cases, non-existent. Chronicling an era of unprecedented modernization and political transformation, Jadwiga E. Pieper Mooney examines the negotiations over women's rights and the politics of gender in Chile throughout the twentieth century. Centering her study on motherhood, Pieper Mooney explores dramatic changes in health policy, population paradigms, and understandings of human rights, and reveals that motherhood is hardly a private matter defined only by individual women or couples. Instead, it is intimately tied to public policies and political competitions on nation-state and international levels.The increased legitimacy of women's demands for rights, both locally and globally, has led to some improvements in gender equity. Yet feminists in contemporary Chile continue to face strong opposition from neoconservatism in the Catholic Church and a mixture of public apathy and legal wrangling over reproductive rights and health.

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The Politics of Sexuality in Latin America

A Reader on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights

Edited by Javier Corrales and Mario Pecheny

The Politics of Sexuality in Latin America presents the first English-language reader on LGBT politics in Latin America. Representing a range of contemporary works by scholars, activists, analysts, and politicians, the chapters address LGBT issues in nations from Cuba to Argentina. In their many findings, two main themes emerge: the struggle for LGBT rights has made significant inroads in the first decade of the twenty-first century (though not in every domain or every region); and the advances made were slow in coming compared to other social movements. The articles uncover the many obstacles that LGBT activists face in establishing new laws and breaking down societal barriers. They identify perhaps the greatest roadblock in Latin American culture as an omnipresent system of “heteronormativity,” wherein heterosexuality, patriarchalism, gender hierarchies, and economic structures are deeply rooted in nearly every level of society. Along these lines, the texts explore specific impediments, including family dependence, lack of public spaces, job opportunities, religious dictums, personal security, the complicated relationship between leftist political parties and LGBT movements in the region, and the ever-present “closets,” which keep LGBT issues out of the public eye. The volume also looks to the future of LGBT activism in Latin America in areas such as globalization, changing demographics, the role of NGOs, and the rise of economic levels and education across societies, which may aid in a greater awareness of LGBT politics and issues. As the editors posit, to be democratic in the truest sense of the word, nations must recognize and address all segments of their populations.

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Poverty of Democracy

The Institutional Roots of Political Participation in Mexico

Claudio A. Holzner

Political participation rates have declined steadily in Mexico since the 1990s. The decline has been most severe among the poor, producing a stratified pattern that more and more mirrors Mexico’s severe socioeconomic inequalities. Poverty of Democracy examines the political marginalization of Mexico’s poor despite their key role in the struggle for democracy. Claudio A. Holzner uses case study evidence drawn from eight years of fieldwork in Oaxaca, and from national surveys to show how the institutionalization of a free-market democracy created a political system that discourages the political participation of Mexico’s poor by limiting their access to politicians at the local and national level. Though clean elections bolster political activity, Holzner shows that at the local level, and particularly in Mexico’s poorest regions, deeply rooted enclaves of authoritarianism and clientelism still constrict people’s political opportunities.To explain this phenomenon, Holzner develops an institutional theory in which party systems, state-society linkages, and public policies are the key determinants of citizen political activity. These institutions shape patterns of political participation by conferring and distributing resources, motivating or discouraging an interest in politics, and by affecting the incentives citizens from different income groups have for targeting the state with political activity. Holzner’s study sheds light on a disturbing trend in Latin America (and globally), in which neoliberal systems exacerbate political and economic disparities and create institutions that translate economic inequalities into political ones.

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Race and the Chilean Miracle

Neoliberalism, Democracy, and Indigenous Rights

Patricia Richards

The economic reforms imposed by Augusto Pinochet’s regime (1973–1990) are often credited with transforming Chile into a global economy and setting the stage for a peaceful transition to democracy, individual liberty, and the recognition of cultural diversity. The famed economist Milton Friedman would later describe the transition as the “Miracle of Chile.” Yet, as Patricia Richards reveals, beneath this veneer of progress lies a reality of social conflict and inequity that has been perpetuated by many of the same neoliberal programs. In Race and the Chilean Miracle, Richards examines conflicts between Mapuche indigenous people and state and private actors over natural resources, territorial claims, and collective rights in the Araucanía region. Through ground-level fieldwork, extensive interviews with local Mapuche and Chileans, and analysis of contemporary race and governance theory, Richards exposes the ways that local, regional, and transnational realities are shaped by systemic racism in the context of neoliberal multiculturalism. Richards demonstrates how state programs and policies run counter to Mapuche claims for autonomy and cultural recognition. The Mapuche, whose ancestral lands have been appropriated for timber and farming, have been branded as terrorists for their activism and sometimes-violent responses to state and private sector interventions. Through their interviews, many Mapuche cite the perpetuation of colonialism under the guise of development projects, multicultural policies, and assimilationist narratives. Many Chilean locals and political elites see the continued defiance of the Mapuche in their tenacious connection to the land, resistance to integration, and insistence on their rights as a people. These diametrically opposed worldviews form the basis of the racial dichotomy that continues to pervade Chilean society. In her study, Richards traces systemic racism that follows both a top-down path (global, state, and regional) as well as a bottom-up one (local agencies and actors), detailing their historic roots. Richards also describes potential positive outcomes in the form of intercultural coalitions or indigenous autonomy. Her compelling analysis offers new perspectives on indigenous rights, race, and neoliberal multiculturalism in Latin America and globally.

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Resource Extraction and Protest in Peru

by Moises Arce

In this groundbreaking study, Moisés Arce exposes a long-standing climate of popular contention in Peru. Looking beneath the surface to the subnational, regional, and local level as inception points, he rigorously dissects the political conditions that set the stage for protest. Focusing on natural resource extraction and its key role in the political economy of Peru and other developing countries, Arce reveals a wide disparity in the incidence, forms, and consequences of collective action.

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