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Revolution Within the RevolutionWomen and Gender Politics in Cuba, 1952-1962$
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Michelle Chase

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469625003

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469625003.001.0001

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The Destruction and Salvation of the Cuban Family, 1959–1962

The Destruction and Salvation of the Cuban Family, 1959–1962

(p.170) 6 The Destruction and Salvation of the Cuban Family, 1959–1962
Revolution Within the Revolution

Michelle Chase

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter argues that struggles over idealized visions of marriage, children, and the family were key to competing notions of the nation’s future in this period. The chapter demonstrates that, during the revolution’s first year in power, the leadership embarked on moderate reforms to bolster the family, unveiling initiatives to increase formal rates of marriage, construct mass housing, foment popular family tourism, and supply day care for working mothers. But as the revolution radicalized, new political mobilizations such as the 1961 literacy campaign increasingly took women, adolescents, and children out of the family home, and broader societal conflicts over religion and education grew increasingly sharp. In this context, the growing anti-Communist movement appealed to the “destruction of the family,” intentionally spreading rumors that parental custodial rights would be abrogated. Meanwhile, revolutionary leaders sharpened their visions of how the state might remold the working-class family.

Keywords:   Marriage, Family, Children (childhood), Sexuality, Rumors, anti-Communism, literacy campaign, popular tourism, mass housing, day care

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