After having earned a BA in History from the University of La Laguna (ULL), Tenerife, in 2012, Álvarez Fernández took an interuniversity MA in Contemporary History at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), where he has been working on his PhD thesis in Contemporary History since 2014. In the 2015 call, he was awarded a pre-doctoral trainee research fellowship (PIF) by the UPV/EHU.
His PhD thesis, ‘La ordenación del cuerpo femenino durante la dictadura franquista a través de los reformatorios (1941-1975)’, addresses the study of the construction of female immorality during Franco’s dictatorship, focusing on the practices developed in the reformatories of the Board for the Protection of Women and Minors.
The sexual repression of young women was one of the principal concerns of the Francoist gender project, shared by the different political forces that supported the regime (SF, AC, and Opus Dei). This repression would, over time, take different forms.
Special attention will be paid to the negative categories in which ‘immoral women’ were placed, thus shaping a series of profiles or stereotypes of ‘morally suspect women’ (single mothers, prostitutes, etc.). The repressive discourses had different results. Under such a system, subjects of both sexes developed different attitudes ranging from consensus to resistance, through indifference. The success or failure of these normative discourses will be gauged on the basis of the oral testimonies of the female victims.
Theoretically, this thesis takes a constructionist stance, incorporating the contributions of the linguistic turn, on the role of discourse as a producer of social meaning, thus allowing individuals to place themselves and others in a referential framework. Furthermore, the paradigm of incorporation will allow other producers of meaning, such as the body and emotions, to be approached. Lastly, oral history will provide the tools for accessing the subjectivities of women who were affected by Francoist biopolitics.
As to the geographical framework, the analysis will be conducted from a national perspective in order to verify whether there were any territorial differences with respect to the repression of feminine sexuality.
Research ID: F-6425-2016