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Gender and the Rhetoric of Modernity in Spanish America, 1850-1910$
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Lee Skinner

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062846

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062846.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use (for details see http://www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 18 November 2017

Public Space/Private Discourse

Public Space/Private Discourse

Chapter:
(p.26) 2 Public Space/Private Discourse
Source:
Gender and the Rhetoric of Modernity in Spanish America, 1850-1910
Author(s):

Lee Skinner

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813062846.003.0002

The chapter argues that the notions of public and private, while mapped onto exterior and interior spaces respectively—the street and public institutions vs. the home—are uncontainable within supposedly set parameters. The permeability of the barriers between exterior and interior means that private and public become enmeshed as both positive and negative, sometimes simultaneously. Using Habermas’s concept of private and public spaces, the chapter analyzes the countryside, small villages, and cities represented in, respectively, María by Jorge Isaacs, Aves sin nido by Clorinda Matto de Turner, Martín Rivas by Alberto Blest Gana, and La mestiza by Eligio Ancona and discusses how these authors explore, test, and question the ways in which social norms are mapped onto physical and psychic spaces. As these representations enforce or subvert particular behavioral codes, they also draw attention to the constructed nature of the ways in which human beings possess and use the spaces around them. These novels perpetuate the separation of public and private spaces and the fixed gender roles assigned to each space to encourage the incipient bourgeoisie and its accompanying middle-class ideals. The insistent linkage of gender identity and space results in restrictions on women’s mobility, literal and metaphorical.

Keywords:   Jürgen Habermas, Private and public spaces, Jorge Isaacs, Clorinda Matto de Turner, Alberto Blest Gana, Eligio Ancona

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