Constructing identities in a contested setting: Cuba’s intellectual elite during and after the Revolution

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This article explores the ways in which oral histories serve a process of constructingcollective identities along the boundaries of what is politically possible. The article emerges from astudy of the role of the intellectual in 1960s Cuba, using oral history interviews with protagonists ofthe revolutionary period. The article argues that the exploration of oral history material is a historicallysituated phenomenon that – in the case of highly politicised contexts – also needs to take intoaccount the political limits of expression. Referring to the work of Pierre Bourdieu, the article arguesthat a theoretically framed reading of interview material may bring contextual meaning, and provideways of understanding how roles and identities change over time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-59
Number of pages11
JournalOral History
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2017



  • Cuban oral history
  • intellectual elite
  • New Left
  • collective identity
  • publishing

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