Institutional Scholarship

País de Ganadores: Tracing the Roots of Neoliberal Propaganda from Chile’s Sí Campaign to Iron Man

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dc.contributor.advisor Castillo Sandoval, Roberto
dc.contributor.advisor Roberts, Deborah H. Brown, Brian 2014-05-29T19:46:39Z 2014-05-29T19:46:39Z 2014
dc.description.abstract In this thesis, I argue that a post-9/11 Hollywood blockbuster--John Favreau's Iron Man (2008)--and a series of 1988 television spots advocating the reelection of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet engage in parallel discourses as propaganda pieces. The Sí campaign, in its attempt to define the legacy of the fifteen-year Pinochet government, prefigures the methods with which Iron Man demarcates heroism and situates it in a 21st-Century, post-9/11 context. Using McKenzie Wark's article, "Gamer Theory," as a lens for understanding Iron Man's distillation of plot down to a series of decontextualized plot twists and victories, I suggest that protagonist Tony Stark's heroism stems from the repeated act of victory itself, a succession of mini-catharses that an increasingly global--and globalized--audience can enjoy vicariously without having to triumph over the constantly shifting terms of their lived realities. The Sí campaign, I argue, characterizes Chilean society and the dictatorship's experiment with early neoliberal economics by constructing the same kind of victory narrative, albeit half-formed and less finely-tuned than the streamlined power fantasies that would emerge more prominently in Iron Man. In their respective fetishizations of victory, in their use of constructed villains (caricatured Marxist militants or loosely-Islamic terrorists depending on the era) as both sites of triumph and scapegoats for social insecurity, as well as in their reluctance to acknowledge the state violence of their political context, these texts demonstrate the gestation of an ideology and its ascension to a place of privilege in the dangerously sacred haven of popular entertainment.
dc.description.sponsorship Bi-College (Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges). Comparative Literature Program
dc.language.iso eng
dc.subject.lcsh Neoliberalism -- Chile
dc.subject.lcsh Neoliberalism -- United States
dc.subject.lcsh Propaganda, Chilean -- 20th century
dc.subject.lcsh Iron Man (Motion picture)
dc.title País de Ganadores: Tracing the Roots of Neoliberal Propaganda from Chile’s Sí Campaign to Iron Man
dc.type Thesis
dc.rights.access Open Access
dc.description.award The Barbara Riley Levin Prize

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