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Title: La corrida de toros : an anthropological study of animal and human nature in Andalucia
Author: Marvin, G. R.
Awarding Body: University College of Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1982
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The corrida de toros, (the bullfight) is generally perceived as a quintessentially Spanish event, associated particularly, although not exclusively, with the region of Andalucia. This thesis attempts an analysis of the nature and form of the corrida as a significant cultural event, setting it in the context of Andalucian cosmology. A full description of the corrida is supported by a survey of other Spanish celebrations using bulls, a brief historical account of its development, a discussion of its setting in town celebrations, and by a discussion of the roles of the main human and animal actors. The basic argument put forward is that the corrida is an event whose meaning is underpinned by important Andalucian cultural themes such as the distinction between rural and urban space and the life and behaviour associated with each, between nature and culture, wild and tame, animal and man. The corrida can be interpreted as a synthesis of a complex theme in Andalucian cosmology; what it means to be civilised or fully human, and in addition what it means to be a fully human male. The bullfighter has traditionally been seen as the embodiment of the most valued masculine qualities and his ability to assert and demonstrate these is put to the test in the corrida where he must confront, dominate, and finally kill what is perceived to be a dangerous wild animal. The structure of the confrontation between the man and the bull in an arena before an audience and the nature of the performance by the man are examined in terms of ritual, drama, game and contest. Although an analysis of aspects of each of these contributes to the understanding of the meaning and structure of the event, the corrida cannot be defined as being any one of them and remains a unique cultural form.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available