Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Deegan, Mary Jo. 1982b. “Cuban Women in Popular Culture.” SWS Network (Sociologists for Women in Society) 12 (October): 3, 18.


Popular culture is, by and large, a disruptive influence on the Cuban goal of equality for women. This rather strong statement is based on a short visit to Cuba, but fairly extensive data sources. These include daily bombardment by muzak, two evenings at nightclubs, five Cuban long-playing record albums, three women's magazines and a popular music booklet, visits to the Bay of Pigs Exhibition, and the viewing of national-sponsored television. In other words, during even a brief stay, the visitor is in frequent contact with Cuban popular culture.

There are two origins of Cuban popular culture: foreign and indigenous. The two major streams of foreign influence on Cuban music are from Latin America and the United States/Western Europe. The Latin effect is characterized by the love ideology. Romantic myths are maintained through images of traditional love and sex roles. The style of presentation is, moreover, melodramatic-lovers "pine" for each other, they are "madly" in love, and love is a focus of life. The Western effect shares similar themes, especialIy of love and romance. But there also is an underlying alienation and cynicism, an element of emotional control and distance, absent in the Latin material.