Re-Imagining Community and Civil Society in Latin America and the Caribbean  book cover
1st Edition

Re-Imagining Community and Civil Society in Latin America and the Caribbean

ISBN 9781138599680
Published May 9, 2018 by Routledge
244 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Latin American and Caribbean communities and civil societies are undergoing a rapid process of transformation. Instead of pervasive social atomization, political apathy, and hollowed-out democracies, which have become the norm in some parts of the world, this region is witnessing an emerging collaboration between community, civil society, and government that is revitalizing democracy.

This book argues that a key explanation lies in the powerful and positive relationship between community and civil society that exists in the region. The ideas of community and civil society tend to be studied separately, as analytically distinct concepts however, this volume seeks to explore their potential to work together. A unique contribution of the work is the space for dialogue it creates between the social sciences and the humanities. Many of the studies included in the volume are based on primary fieldwork and place-based case studies. Others relate literature, music and film to important theoretical works, providing a new direction in interdisciplinary studies, and highlighting the role that the arts play in community revival and broader processes of social change.

A truly multi-disciplinary book bridging established notions of civil society and community through an authentically interdisciplinary approach to the topic.

Table of Contents

Section I: Concepts

Chapter One: Re-Imagining Community and Civil Society

Gordana Yovanovich and Roberta Rice

Chapter Two: Civil Society from the Inside Out: Community, Organization and the Challenge of Political Influence

Philip Oxhorn

Section II: Community

Chapter Three: Modernized Honor Culture and Community: García Márquez´s Chronicle of a Death Foretold/Crónica de una muerte anunciada

Gordana Yovanovich

Chapter Four: Reframing the Archive and Expanding Collective Memory in order to Bridge the Divide between Community and Civil Society in Yxta Maya Murray’s The Conquest

Pablo Ramirez

Chapter Five: Memory and Temporary Communities in Laura Restrepo´s The Dark Bride/La novia oscura

Maca Suazo and Lisa Bellstedt.

Chapter Six: Community and Learning: The Process of Concientization among Nicaraguan Peasants through Song

Mery Perez

Chapter Seven: Community and the State: Piecing Together Differences in Alejandro Brugués’ Juan of the Dead

Miharu M. Miyasaka and Patrick X. Horrigan

Section III: Civil Society

Chapter Eight: Intercultural Democracy and Civil Society Participation in the New, Decolonized Bolivia

Roberta Rice

Chapter Nine: Conceptualizing Transnational Civil Society in Guatemala

Candace Johnson

Chapter Ten: Collective Banks and Counter-Acts: Building Civil Society from Within in Jamaica and Guyana

Caroline Shenaz Hossein

Chapter Eleven: War on Civil Society in Vargas Llosa’s The War of the End of the World

Olga Nedvyga

Chapter Twelve: "Radical" Participatory Democracy Institutions in Venezuela and Ecuador: Strengthening Civil Society or Mechanisms for Controlled Inclusion?

Pascal Lupien

Section IV: Conclusions

Chapter Thirteen: Towards Civic Community: Conclusions

Gordana Yovanovich and Roberta Rice

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Gordana Yovanovich is a professor and graduate coordinator for the Latin American and Caribbean Studies program at the University of Guelph.

Roberta Rice is an assistant professor in political science at the University of Calgary.


'An intellectually exciting and original dialogue between two frameworks for understanding the sense of belonging and social action in Latin America, with the value of an interdisciplinary approach.'  - Jenny Pearce, Professor of Latin American Politics, Peace Studies, University of Bradford, England

The highly original approach that Yanovavitch and Rice take in bringing these authors together will lead readers to rethink the boundaries between the humanities and the social sciences as they consider the difference between "community," as a place of solidarity and mutual support that provides a sense of belonging, and "civil society," defined in the volume by Philip Oxhorn as the site in which marginalized groups manage to organize themselves to defend their collective interests in a space that lies outside the control of the state. Civil society organizations do this through activities that are sometimes supportive of but, at other times, antagonistic to both communities and to other civil society movements – a contradiction explored in the volume through approaches as varied as literary criticism, ethno musicology, and participant observation of social movements. - Judith Adler Hellman, Professor of Political and Social Science, York University, Toronto