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Consuming women: Cultural subversion through consumption in late twentieth-century women writers' narratives in Latin America

Allysha Martin, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

This dissertation examines how consumption--the act of selecting, purchasing, and using goods and services--is evoked in late twentieth-century Latin American literary texts in which the female characters attempt to challenge patriarchal norms with varying degrees of success. In the selected narratives characters rebel against heteronormative structures that oppress them by manipulating the consumption of food and clothing. In some cases they improve their situation or manage to fashion a more satisfying sense of identity but in other texts they are transformed from the consumer into the consumed, literally or figuratively devoured by others. Consumption is not solely an active or passive process as some theorists suggest but rather a continuum on which characters slide between being passive or active, complicit with or rebelling against cultural norms. The authors presented in this study, Isabel Allende, Carmen Boullosa, Ángeles Mastrestta, Mireya Robles, Mayra Santos Febres, and Luisa Valenzuela, create characters that through their relationships with goods and objects deconstruct the boundary between self and non-self. Their bodies follow a trajectory that allows them in some circumstances to transgress gender, racial, and class limitations, deconstructing the traditional binary system that classifies women as angel or harlot.^

Subject Area

Literature, Latin American|Women's Studies

Recommended Citation

Martin, Allysha, "Consuming women: Cultural subversion through consumption in late twentieth-century women writers' narratives in Latin America" (2014). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3618295.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3618295

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