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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, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Constructions of Domesticity

Constructions of Domesticity

(p.70) 3 Constructions of Domesticity
Gender and the Rhetoric of Modernity in Spanish America, 1850-1910

Lee Skinner

University Press of Florida

The chapter argues that discourses of domesticity were connected to modernizing ideals, resistance to social change, and conflicts over gender and family roles, and these meanings often existed simultaneously and even within the same text or cultural product. Nineteenth-century men and women created images of domestic life to present arguments about the many issues to which they related domesticity and to promote ideas about the potential or actual roles for women in society at large. By claiming continuity between the home and the nation, authors of domestic narratives made the case for the importance of women’s role in constructing and maintaining the nation. The division between private and public space gave rise to domestic discourse and the theme of the angel in the house but because that division was rhetorical, many writers envisioned a connectedness between the two realms that allowed for the possibility of women’s seamless movement from the domestic to the public realm. Magazines from Mexico and El Salvador are analysed along with Ignacio Altamirano’s El Zarco, Soledad Acosta de Samper’s novels Laura and Una holandesa en América, and short stories and Cocina ecléctica by Juana Manuela Gorriti.

Keywords:   Domesticity, Private and public space, Ignacio Altamirano, Soledad Acosta de Samper, Juana Manuela Gorriti

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