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Accepted Paper:

"A nation from scratch": laims for independence and new narratives of belonging in contemporary Catalan society  
Eunice Romero Rivera (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya)

Paper short abstract:

Independence is a major political concern in Catalonia. Massive demonstrations and an absolute majority (53%) at the Parliament show it. However, claims for independence cannot be made exclusively on historical basis anymore in a society where 70% of the population has a recent migrant background.

Paper long abstract:

During the last 5 years, independence support in Catalonia has been visible at street-level (massive demonstrations reaching more than 2 million supporters) and at the Parliament (where 53% of the seats belong to pro-independence parties). At the same time, the vast majority of Catalan population has a recent migratory background: 70% of Catalans are product from the immigration of the 20th Century. The combination of the claims for independence for a stateless nation and its demographic composition provides a privileged scenario to observe the tensions and transformations in the narratives of national belonging and diversity in a contemporary European society.

Independence supporters in Catalonia cannot be appealed exclusively on the basis of historical legacy anymore, and pro-independence activist know it. Their narrative shifted from exclusively identitary to more pragmatic reasons, from culture to language, from past to future. Yet, the greater challenge they are facing is to reach a greater scope of supporters, beyond the boundaries of the cultural nation crafted up to now.

Based on long-term ethnographic observation, participant political observation and life stories of everyday citizens in urban Catalonia, this paper shows some of the complexities of belonging in its diverse realms of expression.

Panel P143
Complicating contemporary understandings of citizenship and belonging
  Session 1