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The Catalan Nation and Identity Throughout History

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Edited By Àngels Casals Martinez and Giovanni C. Cattini

The present book is a complex approach to the elements that built the Catalan national identity, which can only be analyzed through its complexity and longue durée historical times.
Regarding medieval and early modern centuries, the territorial construction, law and state are presented, along with the complexity added by the appearance of composite monarchies in the 16th century, and taking into account the significance of constructing a literary and historiographic tradition to define national character.
Regarding modern centuries, the authors do not ignore the importance of socioeconomic dimensions in a very complex diversity which flows both in the intellectual and political world and in the dissemination of identity through the mass media in an international level as well.
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The Role of the Working-class in the Construction of Catalan Identity, by Teresa Abelló

The Role of the Working-class in the Construction of Catalan Identity

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Teresa ABELLÓ

Universitat de Barcelona

As the Francoist regime was coming to an end in 1974 the historian Josep Termes, under the aegis of a seminar for historians organised by the Fundació Bofill [Bofill Foundation] and the Centre d’Estudis Històrics Internacionals [Centre for International Historical Studies] of the University of Barcelona, underlined the role played by workers and the lower classes in the development of Catalan nationalism. On that occasion Termes wrote a paper titled “El nacionalisme català: Problemes d’interpretació” [Catalan nationalism: Problems of Interpretation]. This was destined to have a notable impact on the turbulent Catalan historiography then current and to set the tone for what was to follow in the next few years. In previous works Termes had already highlighted the key cultural, anthropological and psychological elements of identity pertaining to the working-class that had developed in Catalonia, attributing to them some particular and differentiating characteristics, and thus setting them apart from the rest of Spain. He defended the thesis that this workers’ movement, closely related to federal republicanism, had constituted a tendency that was not strictly contained within what could be termed the working-class and therefore made it obligatory to speak instead of a grassroats movement. It was this grouping that had given rise to political Catalan nationalism in the first half of the 19th century, and so anticipated a pro-Catalan bourgeoisie, intent on the consolidation of a national market, showing any interest in the subject. This view undermined the Marxist-based thesis...

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