Political identities: The indigenous and afrodescendant women's movements in Bolivia and Brazil, a case study




Beeson, Anita S.

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Traditional consensus concerning race/ethnicity and gender identities have been challenged by activists and scholars beginning with the advent of social movement theories, well into more complex and sophisticated arenas of new social movement theories. The American and European social movement schools have provided generalized analysis of movement dynamics to reflect broad, cross-national approaches to some of the most notable movements of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Social Movement/New Social Movement scholars have aptly addressed historical misconceptions concerning collective action, refined ideas, and concepts that seek to understand movement dynamics as well as expanded the repertoire to include analyses of new actors, systems, actions, frames, cultures and identities. However, collective constructions of identity centering on the intersections of race/ethnicity and gender proves to be more challenging grounds for conceptualization and empirical research; particularly, in Latin America where the concept of race retains fluidity and indigneous ancestry evokes mythical and historic nationalism. The thesis work presented will provide an introductory glance into new social movement phenomenon that will address how the social construction of identity influence the indigenous and afrodescendant women's movement. First, the author will provide a general introduction into the indigenous and afrodescendant women's movements in Latin America. Second, the author will outline an integrative theoretical approach utilizing the political process model and components of new social movement theory in analyzing the social constructions of identity. Finally, the author will provide a comparative study investigating the indigenous Bolivian and Afro-Brazilian women's movements.


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Boliva, Brazil, Feminist Studies, Identity Formation, Political Process, Social Movements



Political Science and Geography