Portrayals of Pinochet: Historical Narratives in Chilean Schools

Wright, Katie J. (2016) Portrayals of Pinochet: Historical Narratives in Chilean Schools. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Marcos Mendoza from Sociology and Anthropology, University of Mississippi.

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How is the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship represented historically in contemporary Chilean society? To answer this question, this thesis examines the education system, with a focus on high schools and universities in Valparaíso, Chile. I argue that there are two competing discourses about the Pinochet administration - a majority, anti-dictatorship perspective and a minority, pro-regime position - which selectively emphasize differing aspects of the regime. The anti position focuses on human rights violations while the pro perspective puts greater weight on economic achievements. This maps onto Chilean high school institutions, with a majority of upper and upper-middle class students attending private schools and a majority of lower class students attending public schools. As such, the private schools are shown to adopt a highly economic discourse while the public schools are more likely to give a balanced presentation of the dictatorship, including the social issues. In contrast, Chilean universities face fewer institutional constraints, and professors have a higher degree of academic freedom; therefore, the discourse in these institutions instead depends on the individual expertise and class standing of the professors. In order to determine the prevalent historical representation, middle school and high school textbook chapters were analyzed, and interviews were conducted with both Chilean high school teachers and university professors. This study can be replicated in other regions of Chile as well as be expanded to analyze actual high school and university history lessons. The results show that a broader narrative is becoming more common, with economic-based discourses prevalent only in Chilean private high schools and select university classes.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Wright, Katie J.
Student's Degree Program(s): B.A. International Studies and Spanish
Thesis Advisor: Marcos Mendoza
Thesis Advisor's Department: Sociology and Anthropology
Institution: University of Mississippi
Subjects: F History United States, Canada, Latin America > F1201 Latin America (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
L Education > LT Textbooks
Depositing User: Katie Wright
Date Deposited: 24 May 2016 19:52
Last Modified: 24 May 2016 19:52
URI: http://thesis.honors.olemiss.edu/id/eprint/643

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