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You're a useless person: The understanding ofprostitution within a Cuban context of gender equality and machismo-leninismo
Dept. of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology. Uppsala university, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5895-1840
2003 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis examines the understanding of prostitution in Cuba. It presents a contrast between the explanation of prostitution before 1959 as caused by structural economic conditions, and the discussion on contemporary prostitution, which is characterized by individualizing definitions. Within the individualizing understanding of contemporary prostitution, ‘jineteras’, Cuban women having sexual relationships with foreign tourist men for economical purposes, are seen to lack morals due to a deficient upbringing. They are also said to represent capitalist values incompatible with the Cuban socialist system. An individualizing definition of prostitution is also reflected in suggestions of ‘reeducation’ of individual jineteras as a solution to decrease prostitution.

The understanding of prostitution is analyzed as reflecting a worldview of politically normative categories, within which individuals are defined according to their contribution to society. This worldview is analyzed as a symbolic frame, within which certain categories of thought are shaped. The Cuban ideology of gender equality is analyzed as part of this worldview. It is suggested that gender equality has become normative and that gender has been removed as a category of explanation. The definition of the ideology of gender equality is analyzed as conserving present power relations.

The view on prostitution of former times related prostitution to women’s situation in general, which is contrasted with the individualizing understanding of prostitution today. The latter is suggested to ‘degender’ prostitution, and remove an earlier aspect of women’s rights. This is related to the symbolic frame where gender is not available as a category of explanation. Within such a frame, ‘machismo’ can constitute part of the doxic field without being subjected to discussion. It is suggested that an analysis of the understanding of prostitution must disclose the underlying premises of its individualizing definitions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. , 72 p.
Keyword [en]
Cuba, prostitution, jinetera, jineterismo, gender equality, machismo
National Category
Social Anthropology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-87035ISRN: -OAI: diva2:584281
Subject / course
Social Anthopology
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2013-05-14 Created: 2013-01-08 Last updated: 2015-06-02Bibliographically approved

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Lundgren, Silje
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