A Return To The Oikos: The Transformation Of The Home In Modern Spain

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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
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Romance Languages
Hispanic Studies
Shadow Work
Other Languages, Societies, and Cultures
Women's Studies
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Urban space has increasingly become a topic that has spawned intellectual debate across academic disciplines. In Spain, the cityscape, from the nineteenth century onward, has provided a pivotal backdrop for understanding the configuration of social networks represented in cultural production. At the same time, the city has always been a foundational site of contention: while communities gathered and formed in the realm of the urban center, spaces that consequently settled in the periphery breached deeper notions of exclusion. One of the most depicted spaces of such exclusion has been the urban home. A Return to the Oikos: The Transformation of the Home in Modern Spain considers cultural production of the mid-nineteenth through mid-twentieth century in Spain that analyzes the home as the exception to the visible domain of politics and labor and, simultaneously, the condition of the production of these categories. This four- chapter study argues that figures such as the mother, the prostitute, the unemployed hetero-normative male, the housekeeper, and the cook bring to bear the invisible functions of capitalist production and national construction that permit and maintain the bourgeois home and material culture in modern Spain. A Return to the Oikos historically transverses the Revolution of 1868, la Gloriosa, the Restoration (1875-1923), Primo de Rivera's regime (1923-1930), the Second Republic (1931-1939), The Civil War (1936-1939), and the isolating years of hunger under the Francoist dictatorship. In doing so, it posits that the home space and the domesticated figures that maintain this space are central and critical components to the possibilities of urbanization, modernization, and ideological shifts, specifically in the Spanish national imaginary from the late nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. Through analysis of their representation in literature and film, A Return to the Oikos places the home at the center of a general social conflict in the larger period of Spanish modernization as deeply intercalated in economic and political fabric.

Ignacio J. López
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