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This dissertation investigates the Franco dictatorships construction of normative masculinity through mandatory military service in Spain from 1939—1975. As part of the regime's efforts to normalize its version of Spanish nationalism, it institutionalized a militarized masculinity in the armed forces. For its sources, the project employs military publications such as autobiographies, journals, training manuals, and magazines as well as courts-martial, service records, and military statistics. Using this rich variety of evidence, the study demonstrates that a gendered conception of the soldier occupied a privileged position in the solidification of the Franco regime's power, the intended moral regeneration of Spanish society, and the creation of proper Spaniards. This ideal type of man was the martial, masculine, obedient, and pious member of the nation who fulfilled his role as a dutiful husband and father. Utilizing Foucauldian, post-structural, ethnographic, and feminist theories and situating its findings in the context of Spain's cultural, economic, and social changes during the 1960s and 1970s, the dissertation argues that the regime failed to normalize its version of masculinity. Soldiers utilized alternative forms of knowledge and modes of being that functioned to transform gendered social structures. Paradoxically, however, these transformations helped reinforce patriarchal power.

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First Committee Member (Chair)

Ferguson, Eliza

Second Committee Member

Bokovoy, Melissa

Third Committee Member

Vallury, Rajeshwari



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