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Title: Reproducing imperial visions of Bolivia? : the personal, the cultural, and the economic in the British and Bolivian press
Author: Dunlea, Stacey
ISNI:       0000 0004 5347 1738
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis examines historical patterns of representation of Bolivia in Britain, along with the ways in which those representations have been internalized by local elites. It analyses the extent to which historical representations are reproduced by contemporary British and Bolivian press coverage of Bolivian political matters, focusing on three key areas: the personal, the cultural, and the economic. The personal is examined with respect to elections involving Evo Morales, the current Bolivian president. The UK press, the Bolivian press, and Morales himself have all sought to portray him as a radical leftist who represents a break from Bolivia's traditional power base. However, Morales's presidency has been less radical than suggested. The study shows that while contemporary British press coverage reproduces some of the problematic aspects of early representations, the contemporary Bolivian press appears more resistant to them. The cultural is examined through the coca leaf and cocaine. Coca, a mild stimulant, is central to Andean culture, but is also used to produce cocaine. While the coca leaf is Andean cultural material, cocaine is a European scientific invention. The study has found that British press delegitimizes the distinction between the leaf and the drug, thereby asserting the superiority of European worldviews. The Bolivian press allows for the duality of the leaf, suggesting that internalization of the supposed inferiority of local culture is limited. The economic is explored through coverage of Bolivia's natural resources. The UK press, reproducing historical patterns, renders Bolivia little more than a source of raw materials, and a blank canvas upon which British concerns can be projected and discussed. To a certain extent, the Bolivian coverage also renders Bolivia a source of raw materials to be exploited by foreign capital, supporting the notion that resource exploitation will allow Bolivia to develop.
Supervisor: Watt, Peter ; Wood, David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available