Honor, Status, and Law in Modern Latin America

Honor, Status, and Law in Modern Latin America

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This collection brings together recent scholarship that examines how understandings of honor changed in Latin America between political independence in the early nineteenth century and the rise of nationalist challenges to liberalism in the 1930s. These rich historical case studies reveal the uneven processes through which ideas of honor and status came to depend more on achievements such as education and employment and less on the birthright privileges that were the mainstays of honor during the colonial period. Whether considering court battles over lost virginity or police conflicts with prostitutes, vagrants, and the poor over public decorum, the contributors illuminate shifting ideas about public and private spheres, changing conceptions of race, the growing intervention of the state in defining and arbitrating individual reputations, and the enduring role of patriarchy in apportioning both honor and legal rights.

Each essay examines honor in the context of specific historical processes, including early republican nation-building in Peru; the transformation in Mexican villages of the cargo system, by which men rose in rank through service to the community; the abolition of slavery in Rio de Janeiro; the growth of local commerce and shifts in women’s status in highland Bolivia; the formation of a multiethnic society on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast; and the development of nationalist cultural responses to U.S. colonialism in Puerto Rico. By connecting liberal projects that aimed to modernize law and society with popular understandings of honor and status, this volume sheds new light on broad changes and continuities in Latin America over the course of the long nineteenth century.

Contributors. José Amador de Jesus, Rossana Barragán, Sueann Caulfield, Sidney Chalhoub, Sarah C. Chambers, Eileen J. Findley, Brodwyn Fischer, Olívia Maria Gomes da Cunha, Laura Gotkowitz, Keila Grinberg, Peter Guardino, Cristiana Schettini Pereira, Lara Elizabeth Putnam

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780822386476
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publication date: 06/08/2005
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 911 KB

About the Author

Sueann Caulfield is Associate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. She is the author of In Defense of Honor: Sexual Morality, Modernity, and Nation in Early Twentieth-century Brazil, also published by Duke University Press.

Sarah C. Chambers is Associate Professor of History at the University of Minnesota. She is the author of From Subjects to Citizens: Honor, Gender, and Politics in Arequipa, Peru, 1780–1854.

Lara Putnam is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the author of The Company They Kept: Migrants and the Politics of Gender in Caribbean Costa Rica, 1870–1960.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction: Transformations in Honor, Status, and Law over the Long Nineteenth Century / Lara Putnam, Sarah C. Chambers, and Sueann Caulfield 1

I. Liberalism, Status, and Citizenship

Private crimes, public order: honor, gender, and the law in early republican Peru / Sarah C. Chambers 27

Community service, liberal law, and local custom in indigenous villages: Oaxaca, 1750–1850 / Peter Guardino 50

The “spirit” of Bolivian law: citizenship, patriarchy, and infamy / Rossanna Barragan 66

Interpreting Machado de Assis: paternalism, slavery, and the free womb law / Sidney Chalhoub 87

Slavery, liberalism, and civil law: definitions of status and citizenship in the elaboration of the Brazilian civil code (1855–1916) / Keila Grinberg 109

Trading insults: honor, violence, and the gendered culture of commerce in Cochabamba, Boliva, 1870s–1950s / Laura Gotkowitz 131

Sex and standing in the streets of Port Limon, Costa Rica, 1890–1910 / Lara Putnam 155

Slandering citizens: insults, class, and social legitimacy in Rio de Janeiro’s criminal courts / Brodwyn Fischer 176

Courtroom tales of sex and honor: rapto and rape in late nineteenth-century Puerto Rico / Eileen J. Findlay 201

The changing politics of freedom and virginity in Rio de Janeiro, 1920–1940 / Sueann Caulfield 223

III. The Policing of Public Space

The plena’s dissonant melodies: leisure, racial policing, and nation in Puerto Rico, 1900–1930s / Jose Amador de Jesus 249

Prostitutes and the law: the uses of court cases over pandering in Rio de Janeiro at the beginning of the twentieth century / Cristianna Schettini Pereira 271

The stigmas of dishonor: criminal records, civil rights, and forensic identification in Rio de Janeiro, 1903–1940 / Olivia Maria Gomes da Cunha 295

Contributors 317

Index 321

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