Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

The creation of a centralized national identity becomes a challenge when a nation faces strong, alternative identities that conflict or do not clearly align with the socio-cultural norms of the national one. In the case of Spain, these alternative identities include both regional identitiesand external national identities. This project directly looks at the Catalan independence referendum of 2017, the shifting immigration demographics and patterns in Spain, and Spanish citizens’ willingness to accept alternative identities into the national framework in order to better understand the current challenges to the consolidation of a Spanish national identity. This paper will argue that Spain does not have the ability to establish a cohesive national identity because its long history of internal division and exclusion of both internal and external “others” has created a separation between individuals with alternative identities and the Spanish state. Rather than embracing these distinct identities and establishing Spain as a multicultural state, it chooses to prioritize assimilation and create a culture of exclusion that is unwelcoming to alternative identities.

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