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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: 26 September 2021

New Technologies, New Work

New Technologies, New Work

(p.142) 5 New Technologies, New Work
Gender and the Rhetoric of Modernity in Spanish America, 1850-1910

Lee Skinner

University Press of Florida

This chapter argues that towards the end of the nineteenth century in Spanish America the acceleration of technological innovation and the development of a middle class created new opportunities for middle-class women to enter the labor market. Although women increasingly worked outside the home, writers typically sent the message that women’s work is not valuable or important, that women should avoid work, especially paid work, as much as possible, and that men should help them stay out of the labor force and the capitalist job market. This chapter reads these statements as contesting certain discourses of modernity from the metropolis that privileged women’s entry into the public sphere via paid employment as a vital component of the modernizing project and as taking advantage of modernity’s newfound emphasis on domesticity. Technologies of transportation (trains) and communication (telephones) in Matto de Turner’s Aves sin nido, Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera’s La novela del tranvía, the Chilean journals Zig-Zagand Familia, and the Guatemalan La Ilustración Guatemalteca. Depictions of work, consumer culture, and gender in Gorriti’s La oasis en la vida, César Duáyen’s Mecha Iturbe and Federico Gamboa’s Santa are also analysed.

Keywords:   Middle class, Technology, Clorinda Matto de Turner, Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera, Juana Manuela Gorriti, César Duáyen, Federico Gamboa

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