Constructing Spanish Womanhood

Female Identity in Modern Spain

Edited by Victoria Loree Enders & Pamela Beth Radcliff

Subjects: Spanish Studies
Series: SUNY series in Gender and Society
Paperback : 9780791440308, 443 pages, December 1998
Hardcover : 9780791440292, 443 pages, January 1999

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations


by Karen Often

Editors' Preface

General Introduction: Contesting Identifies/Contesting Categories

Victoria Lorée Enders and Pamela Beth Radcliff

Part I: Sociocultural Models: Prescribing Female Identity in Spain


1. Un/Contested Identifies: Motherhood, Sex Reform and the Modernization of Gender Identity in Early Twentieth-Century Spain

Mary Nash

2. Shaping True Catholic Womanhood: Francoist Educational Discourse on Women

Aurora Morcillo Gómez

3. "Cortes and Marina": Gender and the Reconquest of America Under the Franco Regime

María A. Escudero

4. Masculinity Versus Femininity: The Sanfermines: 1939-1978

Clotilde Puertolas

Part II: Work Identities


5. Life and Work in the Tobacco Factories: Female Industrial Workers in the Early Twentieth Century

Rosa Marta Capel Martínez

6. Representations of Women Workers: Tobacco Strikers in the 1890s

D.J. O'Connor

7. Women on the Land: Household and Work in the Southern Countryside, 1875-1939

Timothy Rees

8. Enlacing Women's Stories: Composing Womanhood in a Coastal Galician Village

Heidi Kelley

Part III: Political Identities


9. Liberty, Honor, Order: Gender and Political Discourse in Nineteenth-Century Spain

Sarah L. White

10. Spanish Women in the Resistance to Napoleon, 1808-1814

John Lawrence Tone

11. Redressing the Balance: Gendered Acts of Justice around the Mining Community of Río Tinto in 1913

Temma Kaplan

12. Women's Politics: Consumer Riots in Twentieth-Century Spain

Pamela Beth Radcliff

13. "Into the Clear Air of the Plaza": Spanish Women Achieve the Vote in 1931

Judith Keene

14. Women and Men at the Ballot Box: Voting in Spain's Two Democracies

Gerard Alexander

15. Problematic Portraits: The Ambiguous Historical Role of the Sección Femenina of the Falange Victoria Lorée Enders

General Conclusion




The first anthology in English on modern Spanish women's history and identity formation.


This book, the first anthology in English, links the concerns of Spanish women's history to those of women's history elsewhere in Europe and throughout the world. The contributors, representing the best of the new historical scholarship, expand our knowledge of the general field of Spanish history and contribute to the reconfiguring of European history through the inclusion of the Spanish experience. They tie empirical inquiries into the history of women in Spain to current feminist theoretical concerns, including debates about identity and agency, and they show how "contesting identities" also lead to "contesting categories" and into broad debates about cultural particularism.

Victoria Loree Enders is Associate Professor of History at Northern Arizona University. Pamela Beth Radcliff is Associate Professor of History at the University of California at San Diego. She is the author of From Mobilization to Civil War: The Politics of Polarization in the Spanish City of Gijón, 1900–1937.


"Until recently, synthetic treatments of European women's history in the English-speaking world have inadvertently neglected (due more to unfamiliarity than ill-will) the important findings of historical research on women and gender in Spain, even as all too few historians outside Spain had embarked on such analyses. Constructing Spanish Womanhood assures that such neglect by the English-speaking world will no longer be possible. This is a wonderful book, a landmark collection of well-integrated, highly readable scholarly studies by a cross-section of Spanish-based and Anglo-based research scholars. Its contents will virtually double the amount of contemporary historical and theoretical scholarship on modern Spanish women and gender issues available in the English language." — From the Foreword by Karen Offen

"Constructing Spanish Womanhood represents an important contribution to Spanish historiography … There is much here that will be useful to social historians of modern Europe and to women's historians more generally." — Journal of Social History

"As an edited collection on woman's history in Spain, this volume stands alone. More comprehensive than comparable works available in Spanish, it draws on a burgeoning area of Spanish historiography." — South European Society & Politics

"A great contribution to the modern history of Spanish women. Enders and Radcliff describe diverse women: tobacco workers, miners' wives, women of seacoast villages and religious orders, or the activists of modern political movements—real people in a gender-repressed society." — Robert Kern, University of New Mexico