Year of Graduation

2016

Document Type

Thesis

Major

International Studies

Directing Professor

Jon Bohland

Abstract

Since his party’s rise to power, the rhetoric of Bolivian president Evo Morales has been noted for its exaltation and inclusion of the overwhelmingly indigenous population of Bolivia. Despite the predominantly indigenous demographic of the nation, this remains a notable occurrence bearing in mind the fact that Morales himself is indigenous. Thus, in a nation where recognizing identity is so vital to understanding a population, the significant lack of indigenous political representation before Morales’ election make the stakes of his presidency that much higher. To many of his indigenous compatriots, Morales seems to be the individual to bring about a long-awaited indigenous-led revolution. Yet, while his rhetoric compellingly suggests the nation is working towards such a revolution, Morales’ political actions seem incongruent with that language. Through a critical discourse analysis informed by critical pedagogy studies, this thesis project examines Morales’ strategically inclusionary language, notably a narrative of the historical exploitation of the indigenous people, as a means to gain political clout, while also assessing his policy-based shortcomings and the ensuing effects of aporia.

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