Resistin oblivion : remembering the Chilean women's movement of Pinochet's time

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Title: Resistin oblivion : remembering the Chilean women's movement of Pinochet's time
Author: Pietarinen, Anni
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic and Political Studies
Date: 2010-05-17
Language: en
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Political History
Poliittinen historia
Politisk historia
Abstract: My thesis is on the topic of the contemporary remembering of, as well as the interest in, the Chilean women's movement during Pinochet's dictatorship. During the dictatorship the organized women represented a considerable opposition force to the military regime, and were amongst the first social organizations that dared to publically defy it. However, since the transition to a post-dictatorial society the gender-based movement has lost its former visibility and centrality in Chilean politics. The approach of the thesis is twofold. First, it explores the official history politics of the Chilean state to grasp how civil society's influence in the past is portrayed, or whether it is at all. Second, the views of women themselves involved in the past women's movement, as well as the discourse they use in public events, are placed under scrutiny to analyze their interest in conveying their own past as well as their possibilities to do this. Historical memory here is understood according to the theory embraced by Isabel Shafir Piper: memory being created in the present can be construed in endless different ways and no memory is more correct than another. A shared historical memory of the past based only on concepts of repression and tragedy, and without agency, however, have far-reaching consequences for a post-dictatorial civil society. The aspects of the experience of the female societal subjects and the Chilean political history of women are at the core of the thesis. The most important sources are in-depth semi-structured interviews with central Chilean female figures who participated in the women's movement during the dictatorship or who have been central in women's organizations and politics since. Also the Truth Commission reports are used as material for examining the Chilean state's memory politics since the dictatorship. The results of the thesis are that state's interest in portraying women as societal subjects crucial in the past shines with its absence. Neither are later generations interested in the matter of civil society during the dictatorship, nor in the past in general. In consequence, the women who were active in the past are the ones who most convey their own past experiences, and they face considerable challenges reaching a receptive audience for their words, although a clear interest in keeping the past present is detectable. According to the theory of Gabriel Salazar, the official memory and memory originating from the social organizations are in juxtaposition to each other and hence civil society memory acquires the characteristic of resistance to the official oblivion. The analysis of the thesis arrives at that memory can be comprehended as a right and not only a curiosity. In post-dictatorial societies, such as contemporary Chile, one must strive for remembering beyond only human rights violations. In conclusion, change in memory politics and memory activities in the future is possible, as social movement remembering is related to the ever-evolving societal context in which it occurs as well as other aspects of social movement dynamics.
Description: Endast sammandrag. Inbundna avhandlingar kan sökas i Helka-databasen ( Elektroniska kopior av avhandlingar finns antingen öppet på nätet eller endast tillgängliga i bibliotekets avhandlingsterminaler.Only abstract. Paper copies of master’s theses are listed in the Helka database ( Electronic copies of master’s theses are either available as open access or only on thesis terminals in the Helsinki University Library.Vain tiivistelmä. Sidottujen gradujen saatavuuden voit tarkistaa Helka-tietokannasta ( Digitaaliset gradut voivat olla luettavissa avoimesti verkossa tai rajoitetusti kirjaston opinnäytekioskeilla.
Subject: Chile
feminist movement
women's movement
historical memory
memory politics

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