"The girl is born to be a mother. The boy is born to be a gentleman"
Fernandez, Javier Angel
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This thesis examines a Miami, Florida Cuban exile cultural organization known as Cruzada Educativa Cubana (Cuban Educational Crusade), between 1962 and 1974. It argues that the group’s educational programs presented a model of Cuban national identity predicated upon “traditional” roles for men and women. Placing the activities of the CEC in the context of the profound social transformations occurring in Cuba and the United States during the 1960s and early 1970s—changes which included the apparent weakening of patriarchal authority brought on by, among other things, vastly increased levels of female employment—this thesis maintains that the organization’s project to “preserve” Cuban culture was a direct response to these transformations. The CEC, it concludes, constituted an attempt by some of the earliest and most conservative Cuban émigrés to enforce a reactionary system of gender codes in the Miami Cuban community in the face of challenges to pre-Castro gender norms.
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