Female and Male in Latin America: Essays

Female and Male in Latin America: Essays

Female and Male in Latin America: Essays

Female and Male in Latin America: Essays

Excerpt

In December 1971 the University of Texas at Austin hosted the Third Biennial Meeting of the Latin American Studies Association, a meeting which devoted an entire session to the subject of Female and Male in Latin America. Revised and accompanied by some additional articles, the papers presented at that session appear in this volume, lending depth and breadth to this first-ever collection of essays devoted to the female in Latin America.

There are several themes or subthemes presented in the individual papers but all overlap in one way or another. A basic theme of the volume and one essential to any examination of the roles of or attitudes toward the Latin American female is the conflict between image and reality--what she is supposed to be and what she really is. Another theme involves the problems women encounter in the process of modernization and this interaction of traditional with modernizing influences underscores the possibilities of conflict among lower- --and middle-class women. This, in a sense, has much to do with the changes and continuities in patterns of behavior toward and by females in "pre-" and "post-" revolutionary societies, another theme which emerges in the volume. Overall, however, our fundamental concern and purpose is to tell a story, the story of woman and man in Latin America as viewed through a prism, the many facets of which comprise the essays in this book.

The twelve essays cover the geographic areas of Spanish South America, the Spanish Caribbean, and Portuguese Brazil, and reflect the concerns of scholars in several disciplines, many of whom have utilized the concepts and methods of disciplines other than their own. Their discussions of the images, roles, and relationships of female and male in Latin America are produced not only from their personal field experience but also from intensive archival research and an ability to lift their findings out of the realm of rhetoric and into the arena of academic analysis of the highest order.

The study of women has recently acquired a new respectability in Western society and in the United States in particular where institutions are scampering to fulfill hiring requirements as dictated by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Woman's new visibility, both as observer and observed, has encouraged scholars to delve into the realm of female activity and behavior, but it has also made us aware of how ill equipped we are, especially in terms of materials, to cope with growing demands for information about one-half of the world's population.

Study of the female in history and society has as much validity as the study of racial and ethnic groups, peasants, proletariat--indeed any other segment within a society. That is not to say that in "histories" or "studies programs" that these groups must remain forever distinct from each other; this, to me, is neither an ideal to be pursued nor a realistic assessment . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.