Life after Struggle: Transformation of Left-Wing Militant Identities during Post-Dictatorship Chile (1990-2017).

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 16:30
Oral Presentation
Gemita OYARZO, Escuela de Ciencia Política, Universidad Diego Portales, Chile
The paper presents some results collected in an ongoing research about left-wing militancy transformation in post-dictatorship Chile. Firstly, through a micro sociological approximation based on comparative case studies and an analysis of biographical itineraries, the research reviews various social and political processes of militant identities transformation. Three biographical levels are considered: in a first level, the work describes the forms of political participation; the relationships between political organizations during the dictatorship and, the disengagement or changes of political parties during the 1990s. In a second level, the paper approaches the career development and labor trajectories from 1990 to 2017. Finally, the research deepens into familiar and emotional histories of the interviewees. The paper shows how these three dimensions of the militant life are keys to understand the social mechanisms that explain the transformations of political identities of left-wing militants.

Secondly, based on those empirical evidences, the paper comment main analytical challenges posed by life stories methodological approaches: (a) the justification and advantage of its use and (b) the limits of interpreting evidence following the contributions of the sociology of militancy. The cases analysis allow the review of two new theoretical frameworks: political generations and the sociology of the individual. I argue that both approaches can better explain the transformations of the political identities of left-wing militants during Chilean post-dictatorship.