Insurgent Collective Action and Civil War in El Salvador by Elisabeth Jean Wood

By Elisabeth Jean Wood

Elisabeth Wood's account of rebel collective motion in El Salvador is predicated on oral histories accumulated from peasants who supported the insurgency and those that didn't, in addition to on interviews with army commanders from each side. She explains how common aid between rural humans for the leftist insurgency through the civil warfare in El Salvador demanding situations traditional interpretations of collective motion. those that provided tortillas, info, and different reduction to guerillas took mortal hazards and but stood to achieve not more than those that didn't.

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Narratives may reflect selfaggrandizing motives as respondents tell stories in which their roles are exaggerated or indeed entirely recast. Claimed motivations may be reconstructions that attribute a post hoc coherence to events by placing them in relation to a presumed goal (Markoff 1996: 603). Portelli (1997) points out that while oral history interviews are a personal exchange between the interviewer and interviewee, they are also testimonies intended as public statements and thus involve interpreting and legitimizing past actions and perceptions.

Source: Seligson (1995: table 5). access to land, moreover, for two reasons. First, this distribution, the only one available, counts farms, not families. As wealthy families tended to own more than one farm, the concentration of farmland by family was significantly higher than by farm. Second, landless families are not included in the distribution of farms. This is very significant as agricultural workers, temporary or permanent, comprised more than half of the economically active agrarian population in 1971 (see Fig.

This is not of course surprising: those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder are haunted by intrusive memories and nightmares - they often remember too much of their past experience, not too little. 5 An example of the shaping of memory by subsequent experience is Leigh Binford's rinding that witnesses in northern Morazan a decade later blamed the government's Atlacatl Battalion - notorious in the area for having killed more than a thousand people in 1981 at El Mozote - for several killings of campesinos that occurred before the battalion was even founded (1996: 105).

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