Politics and Education in Argentina, 1946-1962

Politics and Education in Argentina, 1946-1962

Politics and Education in Argentina, 1946-1962

Politics and Education in Argentina, 1946-1962

Synopsis

Mid-twentieth century Argentine history was characterized by a long series of political upheavals, economic ups and downs, and social crises. Successive regimes tried to shape a national consciousness to legitimize and support their respective goals. The education system, at all levels, served as a major tool in these efforts. This study focuses on the formal education system in Argentina during the 1940s, the 1950s, and the early 1960s. It analyzes the link between politics and education against the backdrop of changing social conditions in Argentina under the regimes of Peron, Lonardi and Aramburu (the Liberating Revolution), and Frondizi, by evaluating textbooks, official bulletins, children's periodicals, speeches, and personal interviews.

Excerpt

The Latin American Realities series presents aspects of life not usually covered in standard histories that tell the stories of governments, economic development, and institutions. Books in this series dwell on different facets of life, equally important, but not often analyzed or described. How have underground economies worked? What strategies have poor people employed to cope with hardship and to improve their lives? How have government policies impacted everyday life? What has been the importance of popular culture? How have members of minority or disadvantaged peoples in Latin America—blacks, recent immigrants, indigenous peoples, men and women of intermediate racial status—fared? How have social and economic changes affected them?

Juan Perón not only dominated Argentine life during the 1940s and 1950s but well after his political eclipse; in fact, the shadow of peronismo lingers over Argentina today. The Peron years, moreover, have entered our popular culture with the successful Broadway play Evita and its beautifully‐ photographed (but otherwise historically inaccurate) screen version, starring none other than Madonna as Eva Perón.

Mónica Rein offers us a vastly detailed analysis of the Perón years. She is marvelously suited to write this book: as she notes, she grew up on the banks of the Río de la Plata until her family emigrated to Israel in the early 1960s, and she returned to the "Paris of Latin America" at the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s for her research. She studies Perón's Argentina, moreover, through the prism of an institutional case study of the country's education system. As such, she allows us to see how Perón's programs and reforms touched the lives of ordinary families. Children in Perón's Argentina were expected to learn the principles of Perón's ideol-

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