Lost visions and new uncertainties: Sandinista profesionales in northern Nicaragua
2000 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
In Latin American countries where there are few private entrepreneurs, the state has often played a dominant role in the economy and in production and consequently state employees have wielded considerable influence. After the overthrow of the dictator Somoza in 1979, during eleven years of Sandinista rule the Nicaraguan state expanded considerably. This provided an opportunity for the growth of a middle class of Sandinista supporters to positions of influence over the direction of societal development, while at the same time it limited the influence of those who were not Sandinistas. In the elections of 1990 the revolutionary Sandinista government was replaced by an anti-Sandinista coalition of fourteen parties. This altered the situation for those members of the middle class who had benefited from state protection in the revolutionary period and left many of them unemployed.
This thesis is based on fieldwork conducted from 1991 to 1993 in Estelí, a town in northern Nicaragua. It deals with the downward mobility experienced by a part of the Nicaraguan middle class - the profesionales - and the subsequent situation of such people who had to leave their former jobs as professionals and civil servants. These jobs had formed the bases from which they participated in the construction of Sandinista visions of the future, and wielded influence within the state. After the elections they found their opportunities restricted not only by neo-liberal measures to reduce the state, but also, as they saw it, by political revenge. The book attempts to promote increased understanding of contemporary social and political processes in Nicaragua by showing how the everyday lives of the Sandinista profesionales has become characterised by economic uncertainty and unemployment, fear of unpredictable violence and a general lack of societal trust. It asks how the Sandinista profesionales manage to cope with their current situation, how the explain it and where they place the blame for their predicament. Which role do they themselves believe they could play in the present and future Nicaragua? Have they adapted to the new circumstances or are they struggling to recover the same influence in society that the former positions within the state granted them?
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International , 2000. , 258 p.
Stockholm studies in social anthropology, ISSN 0347-0830 ; 48
Research subject Social Anthropology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-70416ISBN: 91-7265-162-8OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-70416DiVA: diva2:481149
Krohn-Hansen, Christian, Bitr Professor