Intentions : «This thesis examines the lives of men in south-western rural Nicaragua.» (p. iii)
Questions/Hypothèses : «In attempting to understand men, is it not more useful to concentrate our investigations on what they actually think and do instead of trying to decode an abstract essence such as masculinity, premised principally on the symbolic analysis of ideological affirmations and public displays of worth?» (p. 16)
Échantillon/Matériau : This analysis is based on «[...] some of the men in the Dominguez family network, which ranges from Canada to Costa Rica but is centered around Nandaime, a town of about 50 000 inhabitants located in south-western Nicaragua.» (p. 17)
Type de traitement des données : Analyse de contenu
In this thesis, «[t]hrough participant-observation based field research, I was able to scrutinize some of the more important aspects of men’s lives that have been overlooked by many scholars of masculinity such as household relations and the world of work. Although I also examined practices more typically associated with men in the literature such as drinking, fighting, and womanizing, I did this from the standpoint of vagancia, a local category of meaning used by men to understand such acts as temporary diversions and not as crucial components of their persona. Through my research, I found that most of the men I encountered in rural Nicaragua derived their sense of manhood more from being able providers for their households or successful agricultural workers than from the performance of symbolic acts in a public setting. Moreover, men developed gender-based identities directly related with their work as macheteros (machete workers). Ultimately, this thesis demonstrates that if we want to better understand men in specific cultural settings, we should prioritize in our analyses the aspects of their lives they find most important and not reduce them to pre-conceived categorizations such as machismo that have little local relevance.» (p. iii) This research highlights the gender dynamics in rural Nicaragua and especially the gender dynamics of the Dominguez family.