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Title: Using social constructionism, narrative therapy, bibliography, and social psychology in an examination of the Cuban people's polarized aesthetic and historiographical responses to the Cuban revolution
Author: Brown, Alan
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2010
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Social constructionists argue that through narrative human beings create the realities that they subsequently inhabit. Since Cuba first gained its independence, the nation has been beset by a series of historiographical battles in which various political actors have vied for hegemony over Cuba’s past. If the conflicts that occurred in the first half of the twentieth century revolved around attempts by disparate competing factions to confer legitimacy on their respective ideological projects by successfully appropriating the figure of José Marti, then the last fifty years have been characterised by struggles between revolutionary hagiographers and anticommunist revisionists over the true natures of the Batista regime, its Castroite replacement, as well as of the figures of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. This dissertation examines Cuba’s post-Batista linguistic conflict with itself through the lens of social psychology as well as by employing the closely related disciplines of social constructionism, narrative therapy, and bibliotherapy in an attempt to understand what effects the various discourses have had on the nation. After initially teasing out the relationship between draconian censorship and the emergence of an aesthetics of misanthropy, I proceed to illustrate how the works of certain Cuban mystery novelists in the 1990s highlight the need for historiographical reconciliation by gesturing towards the plethora of historical ambiguities that problematised national reconciliation. The fourth and fifth chapters investigate how these narratological contestations play out with respect to the figures of Castro and Guevara. I use narrative mediation to illustrate how, in order for internecine divisions to be eradicated, a more objective biographical approach to these individuals – and one which transcends Manicheanism – is required.  The concluding chapter focuses on how a redemptive literary aesthetics has been marshalled to lift Cuba out of its ontological abyss.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Cuban literature ; Cuba