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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Rosas sin Pan: The Cultural Strategies of the Sandinista Devolution

  • Author(s): Awadalla, Cristina
  • Advisor(s): Segura, Denise
  • et al.

The Ortega-Murillos, Nicaragua’s presidential couple, have established a distinct political-culture that relies on traditional gender scripts and the collective memory of the 1979 Sandinista revolution. This political culture has conferred legitimacy on the Ortega-Murillos, allowing for the concentration of power within the family. The reliance on the nuclear family and traditional gender scripts has crafted controlling images (Hill Collins 1991) of women that promote a culture of both structural and physical violence against women and girls. To examine the links between the Ortega-Murillo regime’s political culture and violence against women (VAW), I turn to state discourses and aesthetics as well as women’s analyses. In this thesis, I performed textual analyses on a corpus of approximately two-hundred state discourses, comprised of daily radio speeches and speeches made at public state-sponsored events, eleven archival interviews, and six in-depth interviews I personally conducted with feminists. I also conducted ethnographic field work, documenting public art installations in public spaces across Managua and prevalence of political propaganda in the public sphere across the Pacific region of Nicaragua. These data allow for a gendered critique of the political regression taking place under the Ortega-Murillo regime that has resulted in an erosion of women’s rights. Through women’s analyses, the reader is presented with a narrative of women’s struggle for self-articulation.

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