AbstractThis dissertation was prompted by two disparate factors. The first was the national polemic in Spain regarding the proposed exhumation of the dictator Francisco Franco and the second, the national debate in the United Kingdom around the Brexit referendum. Debates around the former provoked questions regarding how the post-Franco generation in Spain, born after the demise of the dictator, formed their opinions on him. The latter highlighted how perceptions of the past are interpreted in a way that suits politicised understandings of the present. Hence the topic of this dissertation is how different vectors of memory have combined to influence historical perceptions in the context of Spain, Franco, and the Spanish Civil War.
This investigation concluded that the driving factor behind participants’ historical perceptions was the national discourse surrounding the exhumation of Franco and other aspects of the ideological conflict between the political left and right. Taken alone, neither education, popular culture, nor personal relations provided enough influence to permanently alter the participants’ views in a meaningful way. However, as the participants’ present-day political views developed they were reflected in the ways they perceived the past. Generational aspects of the transmission of memory, such as changing popular and human-rights culture also played a significant role.
To facilitate this examination 18 oral history interviews were conducted with members of the post-Franco generation. The age range of the participants was 19 to 45 and the snowball sample methodology employed meant that they were drawn from predominantly left-wing and either working-class or middle-class communities. All of the interviewees were Spanish nationals and currently reside in Spain. They were questioned on how they believed they learned about the Spanish Civil War and Franco’s dictatorship. They were asked questions regarding their perceptions of the conflict and how they thought that they formed those perceptions.
|Date of Award||2023|