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|Title:||Abajo el puente: place and the politics of progress in Santo Domingo|
|Authors:||Taylor, Erin B|
|Publisher:||University of Sydney.|
|Abstract:||In recent years there has been substantial research on Dominican migration and transnationalism, yet these studies have largely overlooked both the manner in which globalisation generates new localisations, and the continuing salience of the state as a mediator between the global and the local. Based upon fieldwork in La Ciénaga, a poor barrio of Santo Domingo, this thesis argues that emplacement, rather than transnationalism, is paradigmatic of the experiences of poor Dominicans and provides their primary source of unity. Race, ethnicity, and social class have long been promoted as structuring the experiences of Caribbean people, but my analysis suggests that these operate more as sources of differentiation than of identification in Santo Domingo’s barrios. I examine the strategies and practices residents deploy to create value in place, overcome their localisation, and achieve progreso (progress) within the bounds of the state. These include transforming the material environment and its symbolic meanings, elaborating certain social hierarchies and contesting others, and developing locality-based political organisations. In the Caribbean, it has been usual for studies of cultural oppositions or dualisms to effectively constitute a different genre to studies of class, race, and globalization. My ethnography indicates that this distinction is false. Residents of La Ciénaga deploy cultural oppositions and notion of difference to define a place in the social hierarchies of the barrio and city, while simultaneously recognising the moral value and identical structural position of those around them. Popular politics in Santo Domingo are characterised by this tension between social stratification and the elaboration of cultural value in place. This thesis develops a political and social economy of value that addresses both the bases of stratification in the sphere of production and the ways in which projects of self-creation, such as through consumption, allow for the elaboration of cultural value and meaning for individuals and social groups. Given the importance of locality to popular politics, I argue that this integrated approach is necessary to any assessment of the transformative potential of community organisations and other political movements in Santo Domingo.|
|Description:||Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)|
|Rights and Permissions:||The author retains copyright of this thesis.|
|Type of Work:||PhD Doctorate|
|Appears in Collections:||Sydney Digital Theses (Open Access)|
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