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Women’s Roles in Latin America and the Caribbean

Women’s Roles in Latin America and the Caribbean

Kathryn Sloan


Book cover of Women's Roles in Latin America and the CaribbeanKathryn Sloan, associate professor of history, has published Women’s Roles in Latin America and the Caribbean as part of ABC/CLIO’s series “Women’s Roles through History.”

From Queen Isabella of Spain to “Hispanic Barbie,” Sloan explores a diversity of topics and geographical spaces over a 500-year period. She finds that the women of Latin America and the Spanish Caribbean islands pushed back against the limitations on their rights and commonly acted “somewhere between conformity and rebellion.” In the end, she writes, “Latin American women played instrumental roles in the development of their societies.”

Sloan surveys women’s labor, spirituality and economic power in Latin America and the Spanish Caribbean island nations by drawing on eclectic sources: hagiography, chapbooks, newspapers, films, literature and archival documents. She examines techniques of surveillance aimed at women’s bodies, from studies of female criminality to prostitution to discourses on honor and shame.

Sloan writes about the multi-religious cultures of the region, from the cult of the Mesoamerican female deity Tonantzin to the heretical female adherents of the alumbradismo – the “illuminists” – to modern female practitioners of Vodou and Santeria.

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