Metaphors of Masculinity: Sex and Status in Andalusian Folklore - Vol. 1

Metaphors of Masculinity: Sex and Status in Andalusian Folklore - Vol. 1

Metaphors of Masculinity: Sex and Status in Andalusian Folklore - Vol. 1

Metaphors of Masculinity: Sex and Status in Andalusian Folklore - Vol. 1

Synopsis

In the Andalusian communities throughout the olive-growing region of southeastern Spain men show themselves to be primarily concerned with two problems of identity: their place in the social hierarchy, and the maintenance of their masculinity in the context of their culture.

In this study of projective behavior as found in the folklore of an Andalusian town, Stanley Brandes is careful to support psychological interpretations with ethnographic evidence. His emphasis on male folklore provides a timely complement to current research on women.

Excerpt

This tendency of the Andalusians to represent themselves and mimic themselves reveals a surprising collective narcissism. Only the person who can imitate himself to himself is capable of being spectator to his own person, and the only individual who is capable of this is he who has become accustomed to look at himself, contemplate himself, and give pleasure to himself through his own form and being.

José Ortega y Gasset,
Teoría de Andalucía (1944)

Stereotypes, though often misleading, may sometimes embody some profound truths. Throughout Spain, Andalusia--comprising the nation's eight southernmost provinces--is famous both for what it is and for what it isnot. It is said to be backward, and yet it contains some of the richest agricultural land in the Iberian peninsula and has one of the most flourishing tourist industries in Europe. It is said to be poor and misery-ridden, and yet it boasts enormous concentrations of wealth and a general populace that enjoys all the conveniences of modern life, including television, washing machines, refrigerators, and automobiles. Its inhabitants are perceived to be innocent and unsophisticated, and yet, more so than in any other major region within Spain, they have lived for centuries in predominantly urban conglomerations of rich social and cultural variety. the origin of all these stereotypes can be explained historically as the result of Andalusia's long-term cultural and economic domination by the nation's center, Castile. If these stereotypes at one time bore some resemblance to reality, they are certainly in the late 1970s no longer valid.

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