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Nou Estat d’Europa: globalisation, language and identity in Catalonia: a contemporary perspective

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posted on 2022-09-21, 08:34 authored by Steven ByrneSteven Byrne
The processes associated with globalisation have seen Catalonia become an ethnolinguistically diverse region. Additionally, a vibrant civic and political movement for an independent Catalonia has brought a renewed urgency to questions about what it means, personally and politically, to speak or not to speak Catalan or Spanish in 21st century Catalonia. The current study seeks to address a gap in the literature by investigating the attitudes of members of independence organisations toward the Catalan and Spanish languages against the backdrop of the Catalan independence movement. This research examines the respondents’ language attitudes from a language orientations perspective, using Ruiz’s (1984, 2010) framework of language-as-a-problem and language-as-a-resource to unpack the complexities of the situation in present-day Catalonia. This research was conducted with members of independence organisations operating in the city of Girona and involved qualitative research methods, specifically focus groups and narrative interviews. This study indicates that a fuller understanding of the complex situation in Catalonia may be facilitated through qualitative methodologies, which have the potential to explore attitudes in-depth. The analysis of the data reveals a diversity of attitudes toward both Catalan and Spanish, with both languages being mobilised in diverse combinations for a wide range of purposes. The comments of the respondents indicate that, against the backdrop of the independence process in the region, bilingualism and multilingualism have become highly valued in the territory.



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