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Of machos and macheteros : men's lives in the hills of Nicaragua

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Of machos and macheteros : men's lives in the hills of Nicaragua

Brouillette, Samuel (2008) Of machos and macheteros : men's lives in the hills of Nicaragua. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This thesis examines the lives of men in south-western rural Nicaragua. But contrary to anthropological analyses of masculinity focused on public performance or investigations of gender in Nicaragua centered on the concept of machismo, I use a materialist theoretical framework in studying the everyday interactions of men. Through participant-observation based field research, I was able to scrutinize some of the more important aspects of men's lives that have been overlooked by many scholars of masculinity such as household relations and the world of work. Although I also examined practices more typically associated with men in the literature such as drinking, fighting, and womanizing, I did this from the standpoint of vagancia, a local category of meaning used by men to understand such acts as temporary diversions and not as crucial components of their persona. Through my research, I found that most of the men I encountered in rural Nicaragua derived their sense of manhood more from being able providers for their households or successful agricultural workers than from the performance of symbolic acts in a public setting. Moreover, men developed gender-based identities directly related with their work as macheteros (machete workers). Ultimately, this thesis demonstrates that if we want to better understand men in specific cultural settings, we should prioritize in our analyses the aspects of their lives they find most important and not reduce them to pre-conceived categorizations such as machismo that have little local relevance.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Brouillette, Samuel
Pagination:v, 255 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Sociology and Anthropology
Date:2008
Thesis Supervisor(s):Cole, Sally
ID Code:975678
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:12
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:40
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