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Socialist Ensembles

Theater and State in Cuba and Nicaragua

1994
Author:

Randy Martin

Socialist Ensembles

Adds the new dimension of theater to discussions of the evolution of socialist states.

An ethnography of theater and political culture in Cuba and Nicaragua, Martin’s work reveals the tensions and negotiations among different dimensions of society that characterize the socialist project. Martin considers Nicaragua from the Sandinista through the Chamorro administrations, and Cuba from the time of the reforms known as rectification through the withdrawal of Soviet aid.

Socialist Ensembles is an extremely important and durable study. It will influence the discussion of socialism for years to come. It may well be a classic.

Michael Brown, Northeastern University

Most discussions of socialist development within nation-states focus exclusively on the state, leaving civil society out of the picture. By looking into the realm of theater in two socialist countries, Randy Martin broadens this view. An ethnography of theater and political culture in Cuba and Nicaragua, his work reveals the tensions and negotiations among different dimensions of society that characterize the socialist project.

Theater, Martin shows us, is a particularly elastic expression of aesthetic and organizational form that can prefigure broader social developments. Taking its cues from cultural processes beyond the stage, the critical sensibility displayed there is indicative of the ongoing reformation of the socialist project.

Martin considers Nicaragua from the Sandinista through the Chamorro administrations, and Cuba from the time of the reforms known as rectification through the withdrawal of Soviet aid.

Socialist Ensembles

Randy Martin is associate professor of sociology at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. He is the author of Performance as Political Act: The Embodied Self (1990).

Socialist Ensembles

Socialist Ensembles is an extremely important and durable study. It will influence the discussion of socialism for years to come. It may well be a classic.

Michael Brown, Northeastern University

Martin's book is invaluable.

Contemporary Sociology