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Title: National identity formation in Costa Rican literary and film cultures, 1970-2015 : constructions and challenges
Author: Harvey, E. P.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7970 5862
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis explores the concept of national identity in the Costa Rican context, using literary and filmic case studies to demonstrate how and why creative production can be used as a vehicle to both construct and challenge normative ideals. After presenting the findings of both qualitative interviews with Costa Rican citizens and a literature review, this research suggests that the term tico has been used in the country to create a rigid, national identity which is Eurocentric, patriarchal, heterosexist, and exclusionary. While exploring the boundaries of the tico identity, this project moves beyond this identitarian construction to consider the groups and individuals which fall outside this definition, namely Afro-Costa Ricans, women, and non-heterosexuals, arguing that the norms which have invaded everyday life in the nation have led to ideological exclusion and epistemic violence for many inhabitants. This thesis then constructs a theoretical framework for this study of national identity, contending that the ideological paradigms in place in Costa Rica follow colonial patterns, while many methods of resistance can be read according to postcolonial theory. This project then contends that two specific periods of revolution - or revolt against social norms - have occurred in the country and formed booms in creative production. The first is the sociological revolution of the 1970s which inspired a generation of authors, while the second is the digital revolution of the twenty-first century which has seen a surge in Costa Rican cinema. This thesis then uses test cases to analyse the interplay between nation and identity in these works. What this thesis terms the protest literature of the 1970s forms the first set of case studies in Chapter Two, with a novel and short stories by Quince Duncan, Carmen Naranjo, and Alfonso Chase analysed as modes of challenge. Chapter Three then considers the role of the national image when faced with external challenge in Costa Rican films from the twenty-first century by Hernán Jiménez, Esteban Ramírez, and Paz Fábrega.
Supervisor: Hart, S. M. ; Martin, D. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available