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5 - Pushing the Present into the Past

The Revolution’s Solution to Domestic Service in the 1960s

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 August 2022

Anasa Hicks
Affiliation:
Florida State University
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Summary

In 1961, as the Cuban Revolution radicalized, the newly-formed Federation of Cuban Women (FMC) created training programs for domestic servants to learn tasks like typing, teaching, and taxi driving, thereby eliminating the supply of domestic workers on the island. Members of the FMC reported that they were inspired to create schools for domestics by Fidel Castro himself, who had noticed the high attendance of domestic workers at night schools already open before 1961. This chapter investigates the history of these schools from the perspective of attendees, teachers, and counterrevolutionaries, who were suspicious of the new government’s motives. The schools for domestics, along with rehabilitation programs for prostitutes and schools for campesina (farmer) women, were emblematic of revolutionary integration of the masses into its political project. The transformation of domestic service in the 1960s reflected Cubans’ deepest fears and hopes about the revolutionary future – but the way in which the government chose to address domestic service as a labor field connected back to the republican past.

Type
Chapter
Information
Hierarchies at Home
Domestic Service in Cuba from Abolition to Revolution
, pp. 130 - 152
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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