Making Democratic Citizens in Spain: Civil Society and the by P. Radcliff

By P. Radcliff

A desirable research of the contribution of normal women and men to Spain's democratic transition of the Seventies. Radcliff argues that individuals in neighbourhood and different institutions experimented with new practices of civic participation that placed strain at the authoritarian country and made the development blocks of a destiny democratic citizenship

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Additional info for Making Democratic Citizens in Spain: Civil Society and the Popular Origins of the Transition, 1960-78

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Although there were overlapping elements in this discursive terrain, the different structures of family movement and neighborhood association discussions created separate civic discourses, which competed within the broader “field” of the associational milieu and only came together during the transition itself in the “citizen movement”. Chapter 4 focuses on the Family Movement civic discourse, which sought to define a role for popular participation in public affairs within a collaborative model of cooperation between ordinary people and the state.

Even during the dictatorship, many groups talked about democracy but meant different things, from the Movimiento’s invocation of “organic” democracy to the communists’ calls for social democracy. Even after 1976, when most Spaniards agreed that “democracy” was the inevitable outcome of the transition, not everyone agreed on what sort of democracy. Thus, the transition was a moment when different styles of democratic citizenship became openly contested. 43 While the empowering potential of citizenship as an active process is a crucial theme of the book, so is its exclusionary flip side.

Chapter 5 examines the gender-specific civic discourse of the homemaker associations, and argues, similarly, that despite the political conservatism of most of these associations, they generated one of the most open conversations about women’s evolving roles in “modern” society that could be found in the dictatorship. Furthermore, these amas de casa were creating new public roles for themselves that were compatible with the other community associations. Although amas de casa are associated with the private sphere, especially in Francoist Spain, these associations explicitly sought to pull women out of that sphere and turn them into collective advocates for the family economy.

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