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Language Attitudes, National Identity and Migration in Catalonia

‘What the Women Have to Say’

Mandie Iveson is a lecturer in sociolinguistics at the University of Brighton having previously been a visiting lecturer at the University of Roehampton. Her research interests include gender, nationalism, the role of language in identity formation, discourse analysis and digital communications. A paper on gendered dimensions of Catalan nationalism on social media was published in Discourse & Communication (2017)

The book received the Premis Crítica Serra d’Or award in the ‘Catalanística’ section. Serra d’Or is a cultural publication platform that was used to air political/cultural views by Catalan intellects during the Franco dictatorship (

This book examines language, nation and identity from a gendered perspective and investigates to what extent women use Catalan in their everyday social practices to construct gendered and national identities. Drawing on a unique body of oral history interviews, the focus of the study is three female ‘generations’, covering 50 years of historical change from the 1960s to the present. ‘What the Women Have to Say’ analyses the preservation of the Catalan language during Franco’s regime; how the emergence of a feminist movement and discourse, and changing patterns of migration, have transformed the relationship between gender and national identity in Catalonia; and the role that Catalan plays today in defining women’s identities and as a nation-building tool. Additional analysis of a corpus of social media data explores the online Catalan discourses of nationalism and its gendered dimensions.

A central interpretative tool is the concept of intersectionality, emphasising gender’s inter-connectedness with categories of class and ethnicity. An intergenerational approach, and a focus on the local using a case study of a Catalan village outside the region’s capital, opens new perspectives on the Catalan issue. By bringing together approaches from sociocultural linguistics and oral history, ‘What the Women Have to Say’ provides important linkages between the economic, political and social circumstances pertaining today as they impact on the issue of nationalism in particular and in the wider discourses of nationalism, identity and migration in twenty-first century Europe.

Published in association with the Cañada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-84519-923-4
Hardback Price: £50.00 / $69.95
Release Date: February 2019
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-84519-983-8
Paperback Price: £24.95 / $34.95
Release Date: September 2019
Page Extent / Format: 240 pp. 229 x 152
Illustrated: Yes




 1  Introduction

 2  Nationalism, gender and language

 3  Approaches and data

 4  Language, repression and preservation of the nation

 5  Catalonia, terra de pas: integration and migration

 6  Discourses of identity

 7  Women and the Catalan nation

 8  Conclusion


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