UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Una investigacion sobre el piropo español Preisig, Gabriela


The purpose of this thesis is to study the Spanish piropo from an historical and socio-cultural point of view. It examines the causes that led to the rise and fall of this particular kind of flirtatious compliment. The art of flirting, as a part of the ritual of courtship and of the strategy of seduction, is a universal phenomenon. Nevertheless, this investigation deals mainly with the Spanish cultural context, contending that the street-pircpo, with its specific stylistic and linguistic characteristics, should be considered a uniquely Spanish phenomenon belonging to Spanish popular culture. The main focus of this study will be the popular theatre of the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The popular theatre which brought to the stage the language and behaviour of the lower classes, albeit in stylized form, created in turn new models of social and linguistic conduct, which were copied and adopted by the people. I try to prove that the specific style that distinguishes the Spanish piropo is due in large measure to this interaction between the theatre and the street. This thesis is divided into two parts. The first part deals with problems of definition, with the etymological and social origins and with formal and functional aspects of the piropo. Furthermore, it attempts to identify the psycho-social causes of this particular type of gender relations. The second part studies the relationship between the piropo and popular literature, and attempts to determine the historical and socio-cultural factors that led to the disappearance of this popular form of compliment.

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