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Using myth to break oppression: an interactive investigation of Ecuador's Mestizo cultural identity

Studies in Symbolic Interaction

ISBN: 978-1-84663-930-2, eISBN: 978-1-84663-931-9

ISSN: 0163-2396

Publication date: 25 July 2008

Abstract

The question of cultural identity has taken new levels of importance in the Andean country of Ecuador. Ecuadorian scholars often treat identity as a historical construction, revealing the country's Mestizo population as a culture of oppression. However, such statements only take into account the Western definition of history and fail to appreciate the indigenous concept of myth and the human need to constantly rewrite history in terms of today. Since Ecuador's majority is profoundly Mestizo (people with both Spanish and indigenous ancestry), there exists a clash of thought structures, both Western and indigenous, which do not allow for collective transformation. This research utilizes interactive research methods, particularly Augusto Boal's “Theatre of the Oppressed,” to penetrate the clash, intensifying it so that the “cultural oppression” becomes clear to those involved in the explorations, allowing them to uncover the “power of myth” now deeply buried in the collective unconscious.

Citation

Bryan, D. (2008), "Using myth to break oppression: an interactive investigation of Ecuador's Mestizo cultural identity", Denzin, N.K. (Ed.) Studies in Symbolic Interaction (Studies in Symbolic Interaction, Vol. 30), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 253-272. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0163-2396(08)30014-3

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited