Perón’s Political Radio Melodrama: Peronism and Radio Culture 1920-1955

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Nathan Widener (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
René Horst

Abstract: Juan Domingo Perón casts a long shadow on the history of Argentine politics from the 1940s to today. What made Perón so successful was his use of identity politics, specifically focusing on the lower, working class groups as a kind of political base. The radio played a unique role in Perón’s presidency, due to the leader’s reliance on cultural symbols audience members knew, entertainers who were household names, and rhetoric that was a part of a larger Argentine national identity. The tango and the folklore movements were intertwined and demonstrated cultural divisions within Argentine culture. Perón was able to utilize the populist language that was on the radio to enable his rise to power. After winning the presidential election in 1946, Perón incorporated radio stations to consolidate his political power. By the early 1950s, Perón’s propaganda machine effectively used radio to the maximum extent to gain political power. Beginning in 1953, a series of radio missteps meant that Perón’s power started to diminish as oppositional groups gained access to the radio. Radio then became a tool for the destabilization of Perón’s government and led directly to his exile from Argentina in 1955.

Additional Information

Widener, N. (2014). Perón’s Political Radio Melodrama: Peronism and Radio Culture 1920-1955. Unpublished master's thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2014
Juan Domingo Perón, Argentina, Radio, Election Results, LRA Radio Nacional

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