Contested Communities

Class, Gender, and Politics in Chile’s El Teniente Copper Mine, 1904-1951

Contested Communities

Comparative and International Working-Class History

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Book Pages: 392 Illustrations: 14 b&w photographs Published: July 1998

Gender and Sexuality > Feminism and Women’s Studies, History > Latin American History, Latin American Studies > Southern Cone

In Contested Communities Thomas Miller Klubock analyzes the experiences of the El Teniente copper miners during the first fifty years of the twentieth century. Describing the everyday life and culture of the mining community, its impact on Chilean politics and national events, and the sense of self and identity working-class men and women developed in the foreign-owned enclave, Klubock provides important insights into the cultural and social history of Chile.
Klubock shows how a militant working-class community was established through the interplay between capitalist development, state formation, and the ideologies of gender. In describing how the North American copper company attempted to reconfigure and reform the work and social-cultural lives of men and women who migrated to the mine, Klubock demonstrates how struggles between labor and capital took place on a gendered field of power and reconstituted social constructions of masculinity and femininity. As a result, Contested Communities describes more accurately than any previous study the nature of grassroots labor militancy, working-class culture, and everyday politics of gender relations during crucial years of the Chilean Popular Front in the 1930s and 1940s.


"Combining the explanatory power of theory with rich, evocative narrative, Klubock sets a new standard for the treatment of gender relations and politics in Latin American labor history." — Gil Joseph, Yale University

"Revealing a defining moment of modern Chilean history, Contested Communities is a crucially important work. First-rate, fascinating labor history . . . remarkable for its boldness and originality." — Jeffrey L. Gould, Indiana University


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