Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Battles, inventions and acquisitions : the struggle for consumption in urban Cuba
Author: Pertierra, Anna Cristina
ISNI:       0000 0004 2679 8831
Awarding Body: University College London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
The thesis builds upon consumption research and material culture studies to examine consumption as a key site for social reproduction In post-Soviet urban Cuba. Such an approach provides a discussion of the complex and contradictory sources of status that can be found in post-Soviet urban communities. Based upon 13 months' fieldwork in the city of Santiago do Cuba, the empirical material from which these discussions are formed examined the domestic consumption strategies of women in an inner-city community. After outlining the specific context of the community and summarising the Cuba's post-Soviet transformation, I configure my descriptive material around three aspects of domestic consumption. Firstly, I examine the strategies and practices of women engaged in the regular acquisition of groceries. I argue that the difficulties encountered in acquiring what are generally considered to be "basic necessities' dominates the domestic routines and the discursive concerns of women running households. Next, I consider the role of status and taste in the decoration and renovation of houses. I suggest that living rooms can be considered biographies of the changing status of particular women within the community, as interior decor and house renovation are generally claims to a highly gendered respectability. Thirdly, I continue my examination of domestic material culture with a particular focus on the practical and symbolic role of media technologies and domestic appliances in the creation and maintenance of "home". I demonstrate how the various strategies enacted to acquire such goods are characterised by women as a "struggle" (Una lucha). This struggle Is indicative of a worldview that has been seriously challenged by the economic transformation of the post-Soviet period, in which the proliferation of specific material goods, ranging from cooking oil and soap to refrigerators and television sets, is crucial to maintaining appropriate forms of domesticity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available