go to main contents

Marina Subirats i Martori

Marina Subirats during her investiture as honorary doctor by URV
Marina Subirats during her investiture as honorary doctor by URV
Date of investiture:
30th of April 2021
Joan Martí
Area of knowledge:

Marina Subirats, who was invested as an honorary doctor by the Universitat Rovira i Virgili on 30th of april 2021, is a leading figure in the promotion of equality policies, both for her research on the sociology of education and women and for her public and political service. She has served as director of the Women's Institute of the Ministry of Social Affairs, as a member of the Equal Opportunities Committee of the European Union, as councillor for Education for Barcelona City Council and member of the State School Council, among other positions.

Dr Subirats' research has provided the theoretical and practical foundations on which rest our current equality policies. The eminent sociologist began her research on the education and inequality of women in 1976, just as the feminist movement was starting to gain momentum in Spain. "Then we knew nothing; we were a generation without teachers, " she said in her inaugural speech, for whom the implementation of mixed schools posed new challenges regarding understanding how gender is unconsciously transmitted in the classroom. Through the study of language and the use of school spaces and materials, she found, as a sociologist, how mixed schools continued to discriminate against girls and imposed a rigid and demanding model of behaviour on boys.

Despite progress regarding gender issues in recent years, Dr Subirats believes that the solution for achieving a true stage of equality between women and men is the dissolution and disappearance of gender: "We must undo the models of behaviours, aspects and prescriptions assigned to men or women according to their sex and accept that everyone can access all gender roles, without the limitations that these impose". In this regard, Joan Martí, linguist and former rector of the URV, and Dr Subirats' sponsor for the honorary doctorate, stressed in his laudatio that her arguments "never seek to apportion blame to anyone" and "never exclude 'men as essential collaborators in the process of liberation".

Marina Subirats studied at the prestigious École des hautes études en sciences sociales in the 1960s when it was still a department of the École pratique des hautes études in Paris and where her tutors included some of the best sociologists in France, such as Alain Touraine and Pierre Bourdieu . During her training, in the second half of the 1960s, her sociological thinking underwent an intense transformation that laid the foundations of her research into education and social classes. Despite describing this as "an endless subject that has been silenced for the last forty years for political reasons, ", she has nevertheless continued her research tirelessly.

Some of her most notable works are the Metropolitan Survey, an empirical analysis of social transformation made through the Institute of Metropolitan Studies between 1986 and 1990, and the book Rosa y Azul . La transmisión de los géneros en la escuela mixta, published in 1988 and one of her most cited works. She has been awarded the Cross of Saint George (the Catalan Government's highest honour), the Catalonia Prize for Sociology by the Catalan Sociological Association, and is also an honorary doctor of the University of Valladolid.

Marina Subirats i Martori's CV