Myths of Modernity Peonage and Patriarchy in Nicaragua

ISBN-10: 082233674X

ISBN-13: 9780822336747

Edition: 2006

Authors: Elizabeth Dore, Octave Mannoni, Brook Thomas, Sylvia Yanagisako

List price: $25.95
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Description:

In "Myths of Modernity," Elizabeth Dore rethinks Nicaragua's transition to capitalism. Arguing against the idea that the country's capitalist transformation was ushered in by the coffee boom that extended from 1870 to 1930, she maintains that coffee growing gave rise to systems of landowning and labor exploitation that impeded rather than promoted capitalist development. Dore places gender at the forefront of her analysis, which demonstrates that patriarchy was the organizing principle of the coffee economy's debt-peonage system until the 1950s. She examines the gendered dynamics of daily life in Diriomo, a township in Nicaragua's Granada region, tracing the history of the town's Indian community from its inception in the colonial era to its demise in the early twentieth century. Dore seamlessly combines archival research, oral history, and an innovative theoretical approach that unites political economy with social history. She recovers the bygone voices of peons, planters, and local officials within documents such as labor contracts, court records, and official correspondence. She juxtaposes these historical perspectives with those of contemporary peasants, landowners, activists, and politicians who share memories passed down to the present. The reconceptualization of the coffee economy that Dore elaborates has far-reaching implications. The Sandinistas mistakenly believed, she contends, that Nicaraguan capitalism was mature and ripe for socialist revolution, and after their victory in 1979 that belief led them to alienate many peasants by ignoring their demands for land. Thus, the Sandinistas' myths of modernity contributed to their downfall.
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Book details

List price: $25.95
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publication date: 1/25/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 272
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.836
Language: English

List of Tables and Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Who Controls the Past Controls the Future
Theories of Capitalism, Class, Gender, and Ethnicity
Indians under Colonialism and Postcolonialism
Patriarchal Power in the Pueblos
The Private Property Revolution
Gendered Contradictions of Liberalism: Ethnicity, Property, and Households
Debt Peonage in Diriomo: Forced Labor Revisited
Patriarchy and Peonage
Conclusion
Epilogue: History Matters-The Sandinistas' Myth of Modernity
Notes
Glossary
Bibliography
Index
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