Accepted Paper:

Being an “outsider” and being a woman: a study of social transformation in the Catalan Pyrenees  


Meritxell Sucarrat (Universitat de Barcelona)

Paper short abstract:

I analyse the current connection of a Pyrenean valley with 'the outside' and the transformation of the local social structure. I explore the relation with the outside through the social category of 'being an outsider', as the result of a conflictual process related to local categories of gender.

Paper long abstract:

At present the tourist and construction industries are the main economic forces in the Catalan Pyrenees. Tourism and construction are in expansion and are directly related to the social conception of the valley as a landscape. Both the majority of the local people and people who come from the outside work in these two sectors. The outsiders are individuals who have decided to live in the Valley where they participate in the local social life.

They are neither tourists, as they stay permanently, nor 'real neighbours' in the local sense. Their classification depends on their changing position over time, dependent, for example, on whether they have a house locally, the kind of jobs they do, their degree of active participation in local politics and events, etc. From a local point of view, they display different life styles and also different ideas about the Valley as a place to live.

I want to show the particularities that characterize the relationship between locals and 'outsiders' with a special focus on local conceptions of gender. The analysis will use the event of the "Sta. Àgueda" celebration (women's day), to discuss 'gender politics' and the current composition and transformation of the social structure.

Panel W079
Globalising neighbourhoods or tradition-based parallel societies? Studying migration and cultural diversity in rural areas