Synopses & Reviews
and#160;Ravaged by civil war throughout the 1980s and 1990s, El Salvador has now emerged as a study in contradictions. It is a country where urban call centers and shopping malls exist alongside rural poverty. It is a land now at peace but still grappling with a legacy of violence. It is a place marked by deep social divides, yet offering a surprising abundance of inclusive spaces. Above all, it is a nation without borders, as widespread emigration during the war has led Salvadorans to develop a truly transnational sense of identity.
In Salvadoran Imaginaries, Cecilia M. Rivas takes us on a journey through twenty-first century El Salvador and to the diverse range of sites where the nationandrsquo;s postwar identity is being forged. Combining field ethnography with media research, Rivas deftly toggles between the physical spaces where the new El Salvador is starting to emerge and the virtual spaces where Salvadoran identity is being imagined, including newspapers, literature, and digital media. This interdisciplinary approach enables her to explore the multitude of ways that Salvadorans negotiate between reality and representation, between local neighborhoods and transnational imagined communities, between present conditions and dreams for the future.
Everyday life in El Salvador may seem like a simple matter, but Rivas digs deeper, across many different layers of society, revealing a wealth of complex feelings that the nationandrsquo;s citizens have about power, opportunity, safety, migration, and community. Filled with first-hand interviews and unique archival research, Salvadoran Imaginaries offers a fresh take on an emerging nation and its people.and#160;
andquot;This is a stunning book. Silber is brilliantly able to ground her scholarly arguments in extensive ethnography, based on long-term research in a community with which she has deep ties.andquot;
andquot;In this deeply insightful ethnography of post-war El Salvador, Silber successfully captures the hopes of Salvadorans for change and revolutionary times. She unmasks how these hopes are often challenged by the reality of poverty and continued social, economic, and gendered inequalities.andquot;
andquot;This preceptive ethnography not only captures memories, sentiments and hopes, but also examines strategies of managing the present, including the paradox of mass migration to the US. Silber has made a major contribution to the study of postconflict societies, as well as to the centrality of gendered experience. Highly recommended.andquot;
andquot;Silber provides great detail on the postwar lives of a few handfuls of people in this inquiry into everyday life, historical memory, NGOs, and gender relations. Everyday Revolutionaries
is notable for its honesty and openness.andquot;
andquot;In this excellent, innovative, nuanced, and empirically rich work, Rivas examines transnational exchanges, profound and rapid social change, and maps a geography of marginalization in a nation without borders.andquot;
andquot;In this landmark study of postwar Salvadoran transnationalism, Cecilia M. Rivas illuminates with profound insight and interpretive power the world-making imaginary of Salvadoran migrants and their aspirations to construct a borderless nation.andquot;
Everyday Revolutionaries provides a longitudinal and rigorous analysis of the legacies of war in a community racked by political violence. By exploring political processes in one of El Salvador's former war zones-a region known for its peasant revolutionary participation-Irina Carlota Silber offers a searing portrait of the entangled aftermaths of confrontation and displacement, aftermaths that have produced continued deception and marginalization.
provides a longitudinal and rigorous analysis of the legacies of war in a community racked by political violence. By exploring political processes in one of El Salvador's former war zones-a region known for its peasant revolutionary participation-Irina Carlota Silber offers a searing portrait of the entangled aftermaths of confrontation and displacement, aftermaths that have produced continued deception and marginalization.
Silber provides one of the first rubrics for understanding and contextualizing postwar disillusionment, drawing on her ethnographic fieldwork and research on immigration to the United States by former insurgents. With an eye for gendered experiences, she unmasks how community members are asked, contradictorily and in different contexts, to relinquish their identities as andquot;revolutionariesandquot; and to develop a new sense of themselves as productive yet marginal postwar citizens via the same andquot;participationandquot; that fueled their revolutionary action. Beautifully written and offering rich stories of hope and despair, Everyday Revolutionaries contributes to important debates in public anthropology and the ethics of engaged research practices.
and#160;Accessible and beautifully written, Rivas examines how El Salvadorandrsquo;s post-war identity has been transformed by communication technologies, journalistic narratives of migratory experiences, and the complex relationships between private and public spaces of consumption and belonging. This book shows how seemingly disparate sites of experience and representationandmdash;call centers, newspapers, shopping malls, and literatureandmdash;can reveal the complicated process of a nation reinventing itself.
About the Author
and#160;CECILIA M. RIVAS is assistant professor in the Department of Latin American and Latino Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz.and#160;