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Music and Chile's democratic crisis : song and the formation of political identities, 1940- 1973

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This dissertation examines political polarization during the Cold War and contributes to a deeper understanding of how societies descend from relative political stability and democratic process into widespread political violence. Although political structures, class conflict, and U.S.- Soviet competition fostered class-based divisions that set in motion a powerful process of political polarization in Chile, an explanation of political emotions is needed to elucidate why political conflict escalated to such extreme levels. This research explores, through an investigation of Chilean folk and popular music, the hypothesis that the Cold War comprised both political and emotionally-charged cultural fronts; while rightists embraced a national identity rooted in Chile's central valley huaso traditions, leftists embraced an identity that drew on traditions from Chile's outlying regions and other Latin American countries. By combining text-based analysis of lyrics and musical properties with analysis of print media and oral histories, this research utilizes music as a lens by which to reveal the historical development of national and transnational perspectives and identities that shaped social relationships and political interaction among rightists, leftists, and youth

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This item is under embargo until November 1, 2024.