Latin American Social Movements: A Review and Critique of the Geographical Literature

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Abstract

Drawing on a survey of the academic literature from 1975 to the present, this article examines research by geographers on Latin American social movements. The survey identified over 100 works, distributed in a temporally, spatially, and thematically uneven fashion. Work by geographers on Latin American social movements has increased dramatically since 1990. The article reviews the geographical literature on Latin American social movements, discusses reasons for the increase in social movement activity since 1990 (and the increased attention by geographers to social movements during this period), and outlines an agenda for further research. Of the categories of social movements studied, indigenous movements garnered the most attention, followed by transnational solidarity/Left political movements. Agrarian, environmental, and women's movements have also received considerable attention. Greater geographical attention needs to be paid to movements of the elite and the political Right; gay, lesbian, and transgender movements; and the entry of social movements into formal (electoral) politics.

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