Elisabeth Torras, PhD graduate in Sociolgy at the UB School of Sociology, has been awarded the extraordinary doctoral prize for the academic year 2020-2021. The decision was taken by the Governing Council of the University of Barcelona.
Dr Torras defended her doctoral thesis “Our Right to the Pleasure of Falling in Love. Contributions from the Preventive Socialization of Gender-Based Violence” on July 28, 2021. The research of the study, directed by UB School of Economics researcher Ramón Flecha, investigates the link between the Dominant Coercive Discourse (DCD) and pleasure in affective-sexual relationships, with the aim of providing scientific evidence that unmasks the myths of coercive relationships and promotes the free choice of relationships based on freedom and the prevention of gender violence.
We recently interviewed Dr Torras to find out more about his interesting research and his experience as a PhD student at the UB School of Sociology.
How do you feel about obtaining this prize?
I feel very grateful. I believe this has only been possible because I was given the opportunity to develop my thesis under the leadership of Prof. Ramon Flecha, who is the first scientific in the Google Scholar ranking under the categories of gender violence and social impact, key aspects in the thesis. As well, CREA, the research group we integrate, works under the principles of human and scientific excellence in an interdisciplinary way. The quality in my thesis that the prize recognizes is a direct result of CREA’s approach to research.
What was your first conclusion when you finished the research?
When the research was finished I kept thinking of the people it would help, on its social impact. The thesis points at the fact that participants identified romantic relationships as the pleasurable ones. This challenges the idea that dominant masculinities are attractive, giving women the freedom to choose those relationship that they truly enjoy. Thus, it made me think of the participants, who I would like to thank once again, and on how participating in the research allowed them to see their relationships and their lives under a new light. I remember one of them thanking me at the end of the interview, because she did not feel as a weirdo anymore for wanting to choose love. And I thought of all the other women, who like her would have this opportunity thanks to the scientific evidence we advanced.
How was your experience as a student at the University of Barcelona?
In line with what I said before, I am very grateful for having been able to learn from the top scientists in the area of knowledge of my research. In addition to Prof. Flecha, three other researchers affiliated to UB and members of CREA are among the top-ten researchers in the Google Scholar ranking for Gender Violence: Rosa Valls, Marta Soler and Lídia Puigvert. As well, I have had the opportunity to participate in research projects funded under the H2020 European Framework Programme of Research and under the National R+D Programme. In this context, excellence, work ethics, social impact and solidarity are among the key aspects I have practiced and integrated as a UB doctoral student.