Social movement theory and the reconstruction of the past: a case study of Augusto César Sandino and the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional
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Social movement participants define themselves and their movements historically although current social movement theory tends to ignore this phenomenon This study explores how and why social movement participants reconstruct the past as a part of their movement and how this reconstructed history, or counterpast, stands in opposition to the official history constructed by the dominant group in society. Specifically, the study relies on George Herbert Mead’s theory of time in seeking to understand how the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional reconstructed Nicaraguan history and the historical figure of General Augusto César Sandino in order to drive their revolution against the Somoza regime in the 1960s and 1970s. A feature of that reconstruction is that the Sandinistas attributed posthumous charisma (a variation of Max Weber’s concept of charisma) to Sandino. Four constructions of history are explored - those by Sandino himself and his supporters, by North Americans, by Anastasio Somoza and his supporters, and finally, the contemporary Sandinista reconstruction of the past presented in the revolution that was victorious in 1979. The method of investigation is historical research using documents produced by proponents of the four views of history during the respective time periods.