Tales Told Out on the Borderlands: Dona Maria's Story, Oral History, and Issues of Gender By James Daniel Presented by Sarah Cronk James Daniel • • • "Life stories are culturally determined constructs drawing on a public discourse structured by class, cultural conventions, and gender, and making use a wide spectrum of possible roles, self-representations, repertoires, and available narratives. We have to learn to read these stories, and the symbols and logic embedded in them, as such if we are to attend to their deeper meaning and do justice to the complexity found in their lives and historical experiences of those who recount them." Purpose Originally researching the origins of Berisso and Peronist Unionism Dona Maria • • • • • Born 1905, San Martin Began working in plants 1944 in the picada section Elected first female shop steward & participated in union drives Supporter of Peron Died in July of 1989 Dona Maria the Housewife • • • • • The ideal marriage Accepts her role as the traditional Argentine wife and mother See's her ability to provide for her children as part of being a good mother Without her husband's support, her accomplishments wouldn't be so great Hasn't experienced many problems with disrespect from men Into the Workforce • • • • Entered the workforce for basic economic reasons Plants were better than domestic work Peronism: The stage on which Dona Maria made the choice to break away from domesticity Activism in public sphere included union and politics o Unions lessen the vulnerable position of women in the plants and limit masculine power and authority over women Impact of Peronist Ideology • 1945-1955 - Peronism mobilized/legitimized women in the public sphere o • o Early 1950's - Women's work outside the home expressly condemned o • Subordination was denounced Traditional virtues were reaffirmed Politics as a masculine task that women couldn't handle Novels written about Dona Maria based on this ideology • How can we approach the problem of using such stories to better understand the issue of gender in working-class history? Is there a way of reconciling the two different stereotypes about gender present in her narrative? Thank you!!!