Scientific article

The nursing vocation as political participation for women during the Spanish Civil War

Published inJournal of war and culture studies, vol. 2, no. 3, p. 305-319
Publication date2009

This article is centred on an analysis of women in the Spanish Civil War, with particular emphasis on their role as nurses. The purpose is to provide an alternative approach to the Spanish Civil War by moving away from the typical examination of the conflict as fought between two homogeneous factions and concentrating on a broader ideological spectrum. The speed with which nurses were trained by institutions such as the Spanish Red Cross and the different trade unions that collaborated with the Government of the Republic gives us a relevant sample of the different approaches to the notion of vocation. The vocation of the women of the Red Cross and of the nurses of Mujeres Libres (the Anarchist Women's Association) will be examined so as to establish the relationship between these practices and the moral stance that originated in the nursing principles of the nineteenth century. Whereas the virtues of Red Cross nurses were defined by values such as self-sacrifice and Christian charity, the Mujeres Libres nurses included a social commitment to revolutionary change and their vocation was founded on the principle of work and had nothing to do with the charity of the religious orders. Finally, the analysis of this concept of vocation in nursing will be seen not only as moral behaviour (ethos), but also as passion (pathos), thus revealing the different political options facing Spanish women during the Spanish Civil War.

  • Spanish Civil War
  • History of Nursing
  • Women's history
  • Gender Studies
Affiliation Not a UNIGE publication
Citation (ISO format)
MARTIN MORUNO, Dolorès, RODRIGUEZ, Javier Ordez. The nursing vocation as political participation for women during the Spanish Civil War. In: Journal of war and culture studies, 2009, vol. 2, n° 3, p. 305–319. doi: 10.1386/jwcs.2.3.305/1
ISSN of the journal1752-6272

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