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Women and Rebel Communities in the Cuban Insurgent Movement, 1952–1959 By Linda Klou ...

Chapter 1:  The Microlevel of Insurgent Struggle
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Women and Rebel Communities in the Cuban Insurgent Movement, 1952–1959

Chapter 1

The Microlevel of Insurgent Struggle

In the early 1960s, Shibutani, discussing the controversy surrounding the training of future social psychologists, wrote the following: “whatever else social psychologists must know, it appears obvious that the effective study of human behavior requires some familiarity with the intimate details of the lives of a variety of people” (Shibutani 1995, xiii). Shibutani further observed that “a valuable record of human experience” is accessible through autobiographical narratives and first-person documents. This approach—gaining familiarity with the intimate details of people’s lives—is not reflected in much of the literature on revolutions. Forty years after Shibutani’s suggestion, the student of revolutions encounters her subject in a distressingly abstract condition: as structural processes removed from human lives. Perhaps this is not surprising given that the field continues to reverberate from the arguments of structural theorists. The majority of studies on the Cuban insurrection discuss actors in the aggregate and in terms of formal statements about movement goals and strategies.