Surviving Dictatorship

A Work of Visual Sociology

By Jacqueline Adams

© 2010 – Routledge

306 pages | 154 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415998048
pub: 2012-03-07
US Dollars$49.95
Hardback: 9780415998031
pub: 2012-03-07
US Dollars$140.00

e–Inspection Copy Companion Website

About the Book

Written as a book for undergraduate students as well as scholars, Surviving Dictatorship is a work of visual sociology and oral history, and a case study that communicates the lived experience of poverty, repression, and resistance in an authoritarian society: Pinochet’s Chile.

It focuses on shantytown women, examining how they join groups to cope with exacerbated impoverishment and targeted repression, and how this leads them into very varied forms of resistance aimed at self-protection, community-building, and mounting an offensive. Drawing on a visual database of shantytown photographs, art, posters, flyers, and bulletins, as well as on interviews, photo elicitation, and archival research, the book is an example of how multiple methods might be successfully employed to examine dictatorship from the perspective of some of the least powerful members of society. It is ideal for courses in social inequalities, poverty, race/class/gender, political sociology, global studies, urban studies, women’s studies, human rights, oral history, and qualitative methods.


"Adams combines her own incisive photographs, vivid testimony from the women who made these remarkable political textiles, and a penetrating sociological analysis to give readers an intimate sense of life under a dictatorship."Howard S. Becker, Sociologist, Author of Outsiders and Art Worlds

"Jacqueline Adams’ Surviving Dictatorship is a courageous examination of ‘shantytown sociology,’ particularly the strategies employed by women to resist, survive, and ultimately triumph over dictatorship. Her study examines social processes in one version of the shantytowns that constitute a shocking percentage of the world’s population. Her work will be important both for its contribution to understanding the social history of Chile’s dark past, and for its novel use of visual sociology methods. A must read." Douglas Harper, Sociology, Duquesne University

Table of Contents

1. Shantytown Women and Dictatorship 2. Living with Repression 3. Unemployment and Exacerbated Poverty 4. Surviving Poverty in the Shantytowns 5. Resistance: Self-Protection and Community Affirmation 6. Mounting an Offensive 7. Ties Between Groups 8. Surviving Dictatorship

About the Author

Jacqueline Adams is the author of articles and a book on the making of dissident art under dictatorship, shantytown women’s reactions to the end of dictatorship, exile, and decision-making about migration. She has won a Pacific Sociological Association award and had an article selected as a benchmark by SAGE. She has worked as an assistant professor of sociology in Hong Kong, senior researcher at the University of Coimbra, and research fellow, scholar-in-residence, and visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley, where she is currently based.

About the Series

Contemporary Sociological Perspectives

This innovative series is for all readers interested in books that provide frameworks for making sense of the complexities of contemporary social life. Each of the books in this series uses a sociological lens to provide current critical and analytical perspectives on significant social issues, patterns and trends. The series consists of books that integrate the best ideas in sociological thought with an aim toward public education and engagement. These books are designed for use in the classroom as well as for scholars and socially curious general readers.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General

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