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Conditioned Identities

Wished-for and Unwished-for Identities


Edited By Flocel Sabaté

This book contains selected papers from the meeting «Conditioned Identities. Wished-for and Unwished-for Identities», held in the Institute of Research in Identities and Society (University of Lleida) in 2013 and attended by participants representing different disciplines, discussing the imposition and acceptance of identities. The different chapters of the book, written by scholars and researchers from all over the world, analyse the conflict between attributed and chosen identities in History, Language, Literature, Sociology and Anthropology across various historical periods and geographical regions. Theoretical and practical studies are combined in order to contribute to a renewal of perspectives regarding a key issue for understanding the roots of our current society and the problems surrounding conviviality in today’s world.
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Hanging Spain on the walls: Images and building of national identity from the schools (1875-1975)



Universidad de Alcalá

1.Imagining images of the Spanish nation from the schools

In 1983 the book about nationalism by Benedict Anderson appeared in English, wherein he established the thesis which continues to be the object of admiration and discussion in equal parts today. In his opinion, nations were not entities that arose in the remote past, in the darkness of time, established from immemorial times by territorial boundaries and through certain absolutely unvarying ethnic characteristics of their inhabitants, as the essentialist theories of nationalism maintained. On the contrary, Anderson defined nation as an “imagined political community”; and nationality as much as nationalism were merely “cultural artefacts” that should be carefully studied to understand how they had developed into historic entities; in what ways their meanings had changed over time; why even today they dragged such a burden of emotional legitimacy1. Anderson compared his concept of “imagined community” with that of “invented nation” enunciated by Gellner2. Nationalism “invents” or “fabricates” nations, according to this author, while for Anderson they are “created” or “imagined”3. In short, what both of them came to establish was that national identity was not something given, immutable, and timeless, but a social or cultural construction, that was continually being made and remade and which gave place to many and different experiences of nation.

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