The 1960s in Argentina was a time convulsed by profound social, cultural, and political changes. Reflecting on the effect these processes had on the everyday, conceived as the spaces and routines involved in the reproduction of life that vary according to social class, generation, and gender, provides a valuable perspective for studying historical phenomena. It gives substance to and evidences the social nature of personal experience. Through that prism, the study of everyday life will be the gateway to understanding the turbulence produced by cultural effervescence, growing consumerism, the expansion of the media, the problems triggered by economic instability and escalating inflation, and the ruptures caused by political and social radicalization and the rise of repressive violence.
Distinctive patterns of daily life defined the Jim Crow South. Contrary to many observers’ emphasis on de jure segregation—meaning racial separation demanded by law—neither law nor the physical separation of blacks and whites was at the center of the early 20th-century South’s social system. Instead, separation, whether by law or custom, was one of multiple tools whites used to subordinate and exclude blacks and to maintain notions of white racial purity. In turn, these notions themselves varied over time and across jurisdictions, at least in their details, as elites tried repeatedly to establish who was “white,” who was “black,” and how the legal fictions they created would apply to Native Americans and others who fit neither category. Within this complex multiracial world of the South, whites’ fundamental commitment to keeping blacks “in their place” manifested most routinely in day-to-day social dramas, often described in terms of racial “etiquette.” The black “place” in question was socially but not always physically distant from whites, and the increasing number of separate, racially marked spaces and actual Jim Crow laws was a development over time that became most pronounced in urban areas. It was a development that reveals blacks’ determination to resist racial oppression and whites’ perceived need to shore up a supposedly natural order that had, in fact, always been enforced by violence as well as political and economic power. Black resistance took many forms, from individual, covert acts of defiance to organized political movements. Whether in response to African Americans’ continued efforts to vote or their early 20th-century boycotts of segregated streetcars or World War I-era patterns of migration that threatened to deplete the agricultural labor force, whites found ways to counter blacks’ demands for equal citizenship and economic opportunity whenever and wherever they appeared. In the rural South, where the majority of black Southerners remained economically dependent on white landowners, a “culture of personalism” characterized daily life within a paternalistic model of white supremacy that was markedly different from urban—and largely national, not merely southern—racial patterns. Thus, distinctions between rural and urban areas and issues of age and gender are critical to understanding the Jim Crow South. Although schools were rigorously segregated, preadolescent children could be allowed greater interracial intimacy in less official settings. Puberty became a break point after which close contact, especially between black males and white females, was prohibited. All told, Jim Crow was an inconsistent and uneven system of racial distinction and separation whose great reach shaped the South’s landscape and the lives of all Southerners, including those who were neither black nor white.
Lázara Menéndez Vázquez
Santería or Regla Ocha-Ifa belongs to the so-called religions of African origin in Cuba. Since its practice in the colonial period, it has displayed its ability to accommodate change. This is clearly shown in the practice and perception of Santeria, starting with the last decade of the 20th century, in the Habana neighborhood popularly known as the borough of Centro Habana. This essay focuses on the borough of Centro Habana, which is as much a geographical space as a relational one, and because it is considered “marginal” within the imaginary of the city. Without losing sight of its organizational and constitutive particularities, the identification of individuals’ ways of thinking and acting does not always represent changes in worldview or in the belief systems with which they interact. One interviewee stated: “The orisha is a good travelling companion.”
Agus Surachman and David M. Almeida
Stress is a broad and complex phenomenon characterized by environmental demands, internal psychological processes, and physical outcomes. The study of stress is multifaceted and commonly divided into three theoretical perspectives: social, psychological, and biological. The social stress perspective emphasizes how stressful life experiences are embedded into social structures and hierarchies. The psychological stress perspective highlights internal processes that occur during stressful situations, such as individual appraisals of the threat and harm of the stressors and of the ways of coping with such stressors. Finally, the biological stress perspective focuses on the acute and long-term physiological changes that result from stressors and their associated psychological appraisals. Stress and coping are inherently intertwined with adult development.
Maria Rosa Neufeld
In Argentina, the field of anthropology and education encompasses numerous researchers primarily based in national universities. Ties to the research team that founded the field, directed by Elsie Rockwell in Mexico, remain strong. Research based principally in the national universities of Rosario, Buenos Aires, and Córdoba is responsible for an important part of the work in this field, although not all of it, and these locations integrate the network of researchers in this field. These researchers share an interest in the issues raised by approaching education as a right and they define themselves through what some call a “socio-anthropological” approach and others call “historical ethnography.” This theoretical and methodological focus aims to produce knowledge about the social world by putting fieldwork in conversation with theoretical reflection. This includes an understanding of the conflictive nature of social relationships, the historicity caught in the fabric of everyday events, denaturalization, and reflections on the engagement of researchers on doing fieldwork. At the same time, researchers adopt a perspective called “relational,” which aims to link different dimensions of the problem in question and approach them as articulated.