Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Spanish

Advisor's Name

Santiago Juan-Navarro

Advisor's Title

Committee Chair

Advisor's Name

María Asunción Gómez

Advisor's Name

Ricardo Castells

Advisor's Name

Aurora Morcillo

Keywords

Culture, Spanish Transition, Politics, Eroticism

Date of Defense

2011

Abstract

This dissertation analyzes the (ab)use of politics and eroticism within the framework of the Transition to democracy in Spain, its social and cultural impact—on literature, film, music, and popular media—, and its consequences. After a period of nearly four decades, when the country was subjected to a totalitarian regime, Spanish society underwent a process of democratic restoration. As a result, the two topics considered taboo during almost forty years of repression—i.e., politics and sexuality/eroticism—, gushed out fiercely. Every aspect of culture was influenced by and intrinsically linked to them. However, while we have been offered a more or less global approach to the Transition—the Transition as a whole—, and some studies have focused on diverse areas, no research to date has covered in depth the significance of those issues during that historical moment.

Considering the facts stated above, it was imperative to conduct a more detailed analysis of the influence of both eroticism and politics on the cultural production of the Transition from different perspectives. Although the academic intelligentsia has often rejected them as expressions of mass culture, we must consider Pierre Bourdieu’s theories—in line with the tradition of classical sociology, that includes science, law, and religion, together with artistic activities—, Michel Foucault’s ideas on sexuality, and New Historicism, examining texts and their contexts.

This work concludes that the (ab)use of both subjects during the Spanish Transition was a reaction to a repressive condition. It led to extremes, to societal transgression and, in most cases, to the objectification of women because of the impositions of a patriarchal society. It was, however, part of a learning and, in a sense, cathartic process that led, eventually, to the reestablishment of the status quo, to a more equitable and multicultural society where men, women, and any political or sexual tendencies are respected—at least, in theory.

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