Spanish Identity Construction through English-Language Co-Productions Funded by Spain, 2005-2019: Stereotypes, Clichés and Semantic Threads in Non-Professional Film-Reviews from the UK, the US and Spain

  • Antonio Terrón Barroso

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    This work explores the transnational construction of Spanish identity through nonprofessional film reviews from the UK, the US and Spain. All the reviews analysed are based on English-speaking feature films which include at least one Spanish actress, actor, character or scene; were co-produced by Spain with the UK and/or the US; and received public funding from Spain. The analysis carried out revolves around the linguistic construction of three elements: Spain as a physical entity, Spaniards—differentiating between men and women—and the Spanish culture(s). The focus is on the semantic threads used as a means of realising Spanish identity. Also, the physical attributes, professions, and lifestyles of the Spanish characters in the films are addressed, as well as the characteristics of Spanish locations/settings. The results obtained show that the classic stereotypical images associating Spanish identity with exoticism, bohemia, sex and passion are still deeply rooted today in the corpus analysed. They also suggest that the audiences of the UK, the US and Spain do not construct Spanish identity in the same way. In this sense, reviewers from the UK have turned out to be the most receptive to stereotypes and clichés, those from the US the ones who have recognised cultural aspects the most, while Spaniards have been the most likely to include sexist and negative views. The current use(s) of national identity within the transnational discourse of creative industries, such as that of cinema, seems to deserve more attention in future research, extending to different audio-visual materials and audiences. In the Spanish case, which is addressed throughout this thesis, the construction of its national identity in publicly funded feature films highlights the need to rethink the criteria by which funds are allocated and, ultimately, how they impact on the country's image, both nationally and internationally.
    Date of AwardSept 2022
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorCaroline Gray (Supervisor) & Raquel Medina (Supervisor)


    • Spanish national identity construction
    • discourse analysis
    • Spanish transnational cinema
    • brand Spain
    • non-professional film critics

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