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Everyday Acts of Rebellion in Cape Verde: The Political of Dance and Language in a Globalized World

Katherine Carter, Judy Aulette


Globalization is not new. It is the process through which the entire world and its people are becoming increasingly interdependent. Although it has created a kind of unity among all nations, it has also fostered tremendous inequality since the power to control the global systems of money, labor, communication and politics remains concentrated in the hands of a few nations, a few corporations and a few organizations, mostly located in the global North as opposed to the majority of weak, impoverished and marginalized nations and peoples of the global South. Cape Verde, an island country 450 kilometers off the coast of Senegal, West Africa has been swept into globalization just as every other nation in the twenty-first century. Through in-depth interviews, this research looks at what Cape Verdeans have to say about womens lives, their economic and personal difficulties and the ways that women do not accept their fate but actively engage to challenge the structures and systems that marginalize them, particularly in their immediate environment. Women in Cape Verde experience many difficulties associated with globalization such as poverty. There is a predominance of single mother headed households whose life chances have been subject to increased negative impact. This paper describes womens lives, their frustrations, and their joys, and explores the ways in which women resist as well as cope with the difficulties globalization has visited upon them. We focus in particular, on the unacknowledged forms of resistance through dancing batuku and Creole language. We conclude that scholars need to reconceptualize the concept of resistance in order to see the lives of women in nations such as Cape Verde and especially in order to identify the bridges to political change that are yet under the radar.

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JENdA: A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies. ISSN: 1530-5686 (online).
Editors: Nkiru Nzegwu; Book Editor: Mary Dillard.

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