Playing the State: Imagining Youth in Cuban Baseball

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2021

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Abstract

My research lies at the intersections of youth and their imaginaries in late socialist Cuba. Through ethnographic and historical research, I explore how Cuban teenagers and young adults make sense of their place in a changing world. My dissertation asks, what does the experience of young baseball players tells us about the way that socialism works and how it is experienced in Cuba today? I argue that baseball in Cuba reflects the distinctive trajectory of this island nation that remains one of the world’s last socialist states. I detail how the amateur athlete can be seen as an on-going experiment in the state’s attempt to create new subjectivities, which are channeled through an equally new system of ethical values based on sacrifice, care, and anti-colonial nationalism. But while players are seen to embody socialist values, I argue that baseball creates a range of meanings and possibilities for players that exceeds the State’s ability to direct or control.

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Daley, Christopher (2021). Playing the State: Imagining Youth in Cuban Baseball. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/23779.

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