Between Hope & Despair: Women Learning Politics

Between Hope & Despair: Women Learning Politics

by Donna M. Chovanec


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Between Hope & Despair: Women Learning Politics by Donna M. Chovanec

Based on an empirical study of a women’s movement in Arica, Chile, this exploration documents how this particular group organized to oppose Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. Presenting an analysis of social movements in general as well as their reasons and barriers, this overview is told through the women’s own words and experiences, painting a graphic picture of courage and determination. This gripping narrative also focuses on the political learning and educational processes that emerged from this effort. Three key themes are investigated, including political consciousness, social-movement praxis, and how participation in these struggles has a life-changing effect. Concluding with a discussion of the role of adult education in social movements, this powerful examination is buttressed with actual photographs from the Chilean protest.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781552662991
Publisher: Fernwood Publishing
Publication date: 09/01/2009
Pages: 128
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Donna M. Chovanec teaches in the department of educational policy studies at the University of Alberta and specializes in adult education with an emphasis in social movements. She lives in Edmonton, Alberta.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 7

Introduction 9

Why Study Political Learning in the Women's Movement? 10

Outline of the Book 11

Terms and Translations 11

Part 1 The Arica Story 13

1 Introduction 14

The Setting 15

The Context 16

Note 18

2 Act I-Los Antecedentes (The Antecedents) 19

On the Path to Socialism: Pre-1973 19

Fron One Day to the Next: September 11, 1973 22

Quiet Continuity: 1973-83 25

Notes 28

3 Act II-La Lucha (The Struggle) 30

Genesis of the Women's Movement: October 29, 1983 30

Powerful Women in a Powerful Movement: 1983-88 31

Women's Organizations 32

Clandestine Activities 36

Acts of Solidarity and Resistance 38

Communal Survival-oriented Activities 41

Human Rights Groups 42

Political Parties and Movements 45

The Roman Catholic Church 45

Summary of Women's Movement Activities 47

The Movement in Transition: 1988-90 49

Notes 50

4 Act III-La Continuación (The Continuation) 51

Women Return to their Homes 51

Chile's Pseudo-Democracy 53

The Women's Movement in the New Millennium 55

A New Generation of Activists 59

Notes 62

Part 2 Learning and Education in Social Movements 63

Introduction 63

5 The Research Study 64

Introduction 64

Social Movement Theories 65

Adult Education and Social Movement Scholarship 66

Researching Social Movement Learning in the Women's Movement in Chile 68

Research Approaches 68

Research Methods 69

Ongoing Research 72

6 How Do We Learn Political Consciousness? 73

Introduction 73

What is Political Consciousness? 74

How is Political Consciousness Learned? 75

Acquiring Political Consciousness through Early Learning 76

Integrating PoliticalConsciousness through Active Engagement 77

Conclusion 81

Note 82

7 What is Social Movement Praxis? 83

Introduction 83

What is Praxis? 84

The Role of Reflection in Social Movement Praxis: Political Preparation and Ideology 87

Incorporating Ideology into Social Movement Praxis 90

Denouncing: Analyzing Capitalist Relations 90

Announcing: Clarifying the Vision 92

Summary 94

Note 94

8 How does Participating in Social Movements Change Lives? 95

Introduction 95

Las Jóvenes: The Lost Generation 96

Consequences of Social Movement Participation 103

Consequences in Social and Political Lives 103

Consequences on Personal and Interpersonal Lives 106

Emotions and Trauma 107

Finding Hope 109

Notes 110

9 What Is the Role of an Adult Educator in Social Movements?111

Introduction 111

Organic and Intentional Adult Education 112

Political-Pedagogical Entry Points 116

Final Word 119

References 121

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