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Sujetos endeudados: responsabilidad moral y culpa en novelas y películas de la crisis financiera española de 2008


This dissertation explores novels and films produced in the Spanish State between 2011 and 2018 across three languages —Catalan, Galician, and Spanish— documenting the impact of the World Economic Crisis of 2008. The latter, as I argue, exposed the nation as “an indebted” society that had built its democratic and financial success as a house of cards. This work represents an original contribution to the field of Spanish Cultural Studies in three particular ways: (1) It highlights how the economic crisis affected women, more specifically those belonging to the younger generations of the lower middle class known as the “mileuristas” (The Generation of the One Thousand Euros). (2) Evaluating novels written in three of the official languages of the Spanish State provides a comprehensive perspective of the economic debacle since it considers the different cultural and linguistic realities of 21st Century Spain. In following this premise, each of the novels and films studied here call upon the particular identity marker of a debtor, which ultimately carries the moral judgement of being an “irresponsible citizen”. (3) By considering the notion of the indebted subject, this dissertation brings to the fore an innovative approach that surpasses mere understanding of precariousness and precarity, as have done so far, the scholarly productions centered on this topic. Thus, I expose how feral capitalism operates using moral considerations of guilt and fear to ultimately assigns all ethical and economic responsibility of the financial crisis to individuals; blaming them and not the unbridled greed of the world banking system. From diverse perspectives, and in some cases, with clear demands to establish new solidarities and alliances among the State, companies, and society, the novels and films evidence the bleak landscape left in the wake of the Spanish 2008-2014 crisis.

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