Natale, Eleonora (2019) The Argentine military, the military family and the violence of the 1970s: an ethnographic study of kinship. Doctoral thesis, Keele University.

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Abstract

This thesis addresses the military of the last dictatorship in Argentina (1976-1983). The findings are based on original empirical data, gathered through interviews with former subaltern officers of the 1970s, their wives and children. By adopting an ethnographic approach, this study contributes to understandings of Argentina’s recent past in two ways: on the one hand it describes how military families reconstruct life in the 1970s, showing how kinship works in the military world; on the other, it explains the centrality of kinship in the broader process of perpetrating and representing the violence of the 1970s, Argentina’s cultural war. Since the end of the dictatorship, the military lost their historically prestigious position to be morally and judicially condemned for the abuses committed during the regime. Repudiated by large sectors of the society, the military became target of stereotypes that affect both studies of this group and its interaction with society, serving to limit the understanding of the violence and its aftermath. By extending the focus from the officers to their families, this study recovers the neglected human dimension of the military; it explores their narratives of family life, relationships with the institution and involvement in the violence, as well as their reactions to the trials for crimes against humanity. Fieldwork revealed the existence of an informal solidarity network within the military world which is based on kinship and works in parallel with (and often in opposition to) the prescriptions of the Army. This thesis therefore questions the tensions between military families, the Armed Forces and the State in post-authoritarian Argentina; it builds on kinship an alternative analytic path to look at the military acting within Argentine society; and thereby shows how military power is embedded into it, reinserting military families within the cycle of violence and trauma that still affects Argentina.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: U Military Science > U Military Science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Politics, Philosophy, International Relations and Environment
Contributors: Parr, Helen (Thesis advisor)
Mandelbaum, MM (Thesis advisor)
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2019 13:00
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2020 12:42
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/7149

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