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Language, immigration and nationalism: comparing the Basque and Catalan cases.

Conversi, Daniele (1994) Language, immigration and nationalism: comparing the Basque and Catalan cases. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Through a comparison between Catalan and Basque nationalism, this thesis describes two patterns of nationalism: inclusive and exclusive, cohesive and fragmented. These are related to the core values of national identity chosen by nationalist elites. However, this choice cannot be arbitrary, but is based on pre-existing cultural material. As language is the key value of most European nationalisms, the degree of language maintenance has a direct influence on the patterns of nationalist mobilization. These two patterns are tested against the different attitudes towards immigrants: early Basque nationalism was isolationist and exclusive, early Catalan nationalism was more integrationist and inclusive. However, during Francoism, Basque nationalism changed its focus from race/religion to language and action, although nationalists never agreed on which one of these was crucial. The result was a more inclusive form of nationalism. Finally, the thesis relates the two models to the rise and spread of political violence. It is argued that ideological infighting and fragmented constituencies are potentially more conducive to violent forms of nationalism. In turn, such ideological frictions are related to cultural discontinuities, including partial assimilation into the dominant culture. However, for this violent potential to fully emerge, there must intervene a second variable, namely state repression. It is argued that the effects of state repression have been different in the two cases: in Catalonia, it encouraged people to mobilize around language and related cultural endeavours; in the Basque Country it provided a powerful catalyst for further violent confrontation and for the 'militarization' of nationalism.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: sociology, social structure and development, sociology, sociolinguistics
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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