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Troubling frames: Linking past, present and future through an in-depth analysis of the Madres de Plaza de Mayo

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Title: Troubling frames: Linking past, present and future through an in-depth analysis of the Madres de Plaza de Mayo
Author: Laird Barry, Kuusta
Department: School of Languages and Literatures
Program: Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Advisor: Johnson, Candace
Abstract: This thesis analyzes the Madres de Plaza de Mayo, a social movement based in Argentina that began in 1977. One of the main goals of this thesis is to try to account for the split in the movement that occurred in 1986 as well as its surprising longevity to date. Scholars tend to apply either a human rights or gender-identity frame to studies of the Madres however I posit that framing the movement and its demands as strictly rights- and/or identity-based claims sets in motion a “crippling reduction” that is the central problematic of this thesis. Because of this, I argue that understanding of this movement has been limited in a fundamental way that occults its transformative potential. This study begins to reveal the complexity inherent in one of the longest-standing social movements, underlining its significance as a model for effective sustained criticism that has theoretical applicability as a heuristic device beyond the national context from which it derives. This thesis demonstrates that the Madres’ importance as a social movement can be seen not just in terms of the claims they made against the Argentine state but in terms of how they evolved and have sustained complex political and moral principles.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/8443
Date: 2014-09
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