Gender and Modernization

Comparison of two stories, “Nectar in a Sieve” and “Don’t Be Afraid Gringo and their representation of their respective economic situations through the lens of female-male relations.

Perhaps the most fascinating feature of both the novel, Nectar in a Sieve, and the oral history, Don’t Be Afraid Gringo”, is how very similar the two stories are; although they are separated by decades in time, and thousands of miles in space. To a large degree, this may be attributed to the fact that both works concern cultures experiencing a similar crisis: the social impact of core-periphery economic exploitation upon traditional family existence in 1950s India and 1980s Honduras. This paper will argue that both text’s representation of their economic situations – of mercantilist core/staple producing periphery exploitation, semiproletariate relations with the comprador elite, family/church socialization and factory/military oppression – are depicted through the lens of female-male relations and family life in traditional cultures.