Fatherhood in the Context of Political Violence: Los Padres de la Plaza

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Grounded on a documentary film-based qualitative research methodology, the article undertakes a social constructivist theoretical analysis of the story of a group of Argentinean fathers whose children were victims of enforced disappearance. It focuses specifically on the impact of the massive use of enforced disappearance on fathers by the Military government in Argentina between 1976 and 1983. The premeditated use of this tactic gave birth to a protest movement named “Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo,” established by a group of mothers whose children were abducted. Whereas the mothers’ role in the context of this historical period of political violence was extensively documented, the question of the fathers’ role remains unclear. Based on “Padres de la Plaza: 10 Recorridos Posibles” by director Joaquin Daglio, a documentary film that portrayed the stories of ten fathers whose children were abducted, the article examines the experience of fatherhood in the context of political violence, the impact of enforced disappearance on these fathers, the role of the fathers in the Mothers’ protest movement, and the construction of fatherhood under these particular historical and personal circumstances. The article shows how fatherhood is experienced and transformed in the contexts of political violence, specifically in contexts of the institutionalized, state-sponsored violation of human and civil rights.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-375
Number of pages17
JournalMen and Masculinities
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2014.


  • Argentina
  • Las Madres de Plaza de Mayo
  • fatherhood
  • forced disappearance
  • human rights violation
  • political persecutions
  • state terror

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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