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The Journey From The Barrio To The City Center: "Tísicas, Milonguitas And Costureritas In Buenos Aires, 1910-1940"

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During the first three decades of the 20th century, and in the midst of the fervor of urban change that transformed Buenos Aires into a metropolis, poetry, cinema, theater and tango lyrics repeatedly portrayed the path of neighborhood young females who, by immersing themselves in the downtown nightlife, placed their stakes on a society where social mobility -limited yet real- was part of the urban experience. For the most part written by men, tango lyrics depicted these journeys in a critical tone, and tuberculosis was cast as a form of punishment for these young women who dared to question their assigned place and role in the domestic and neighborhood worlds. Thus, tango lyrics not only offer a highly moralizing account but also paint an image of an illness that seems to be feminine although in fact it was one that affected male and women alike.


This work is freely available courtesy of Universidad Nacional de Lanús.

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