4917 - Sex and Revolution: ¿Rethinking Youth Culture, Politics, and the Armed Struggle during the Brazilian Dictatorship (1964-85)¿

Scholars who work on the history of the Brazilian dictatorship (1964-85), have focused on the ways in which armed struggle activities offered resistance and radical opposition. These works glorify the role revolutionaries played in fighting against the authoritarian state, while underplaying their romanticism, isolation, and at times authoritarian practices. Few examine everyday life for militants engaged in underground activities and its relationship to politics. Others have emphasized the cultural movements, such as tropicália, pop music, and countercultural expressions, as important contestation against the regime’s censorship, conservative moral worldview, and arbitrary policies. To some scholars, everyday and cultural opposition to the dictatorship offered alternative ways to challenge authoritarian rule that understood politics in a broader context than direct confrontations with the state. This paper examines the intersections of social, political, and cultural changes taking place within middle-class Brazilian youth culture in the 1960s and 70s, as a minority of student and other activists decided to engage in a guerrilla strategy to end the dictatorship, another sector opted for countercultural alternatives, and a majority continue their lives as usual, while becoming avid consumers of popular culture. The paper examines how issues of gender, sexuality, identity, and comportment were understood by the revolutionary left and considers the impact of countercultural and “alternative” voices in the process of democratization that took place in the late 1970s and early 80s.

Palabras claves: counterculture, revolution, homosexuality

Autores: Green, James (Brown University, Austria / Österreich)


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