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Title: Constructing a nation : evaluating the discursive creation of national community under the FSLN government in Nicaragua (1979-1990)
Author: Carroll-Davis, Lisa Marie
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis aims to examine the ways in which national identity can be discursively created within a state. I consider the case of Nicaragua in the 1980s and investigate how the government of the Sandinista Front for National Liberation (FSLN) established a conception of the national in the country through official discourse. Despite various studies into the political situation of Nicaragua during this time period, little research has been done in the role of language in constructing a sense of national identification in the country, and this thesis is a contribution to addressing that gap in the research, following the examples of Ruth Wodak et al. (1999) and Nicolina Montesano Montessori (2009). I challenge the dominant Eurocentric theories on national identity as to their relevance in a Latin American context. Particularly, Anderson (2006), Smith (1991), Gellner (1983) and Hobsbawm (1990) are shown to each have partial applicability to studies of the region, but ultimately are not sufficient in themselves to fully address the unique circumstances seen in Latin America. I propose that two other elements must be included as contributing elements to national identity formation: radical Marxism and liberation theology. In analysing the data, I adopt a critically oriented discourse analysis approach as I research the strategies employed in a government led redefinition of the nation. Applying the discourse-historical approach (Wodak et al. 1999), I probe the data for particular structures aimed at creating hegemony over the discursive terrain. Through a comparison of three separate corpora composed of government publications, opposition publications and ethnographic interviews, I consider the questions of how the FSLN discursively created a sense of national community and whether and how that discourse was adopted by non-governmental actors. In answering these questions, the discourses are situated in the specific cultural, political and historical milieu of post-revolutionary Nicaragua.
Supervisor: Quince, Eleanor ; Romero de Mills, Patricia Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HX Socialism. Communism. Anarchism ; JL Political institutions (America except United States) ; PB Modern European Languages