Abstract

This essay reflects on the tensions and contradictions caused by the recent massive arrival of immigrants to Spain. This phenomenon reveals important failures in the process of receiving and integrating these new members into society. Thus, racist and/or xenophobic attitudes proliferate in different grades while the existence of such behaviors is being denied socially and institutionally. The analytical thread for this research is an autobiographic account by the Catalan writer Najat El Hachmi, Jo també sóc catalana (2004). There are three nationalisms in conflict in this text: Spanish, Catalan, and Moroccan. In particular, Catalan nationalism shows a more significant presence and influence; it confers identity to the author, although alternatively it excludes her from its shelter. In connection to nationalist definitions and the concrete uses El Hachmi grants them, I perceive the tensions between Catalan and Spanish culture (even though at points El Hachmi brings them together as "Western culture"), and Moroccan and Berber culture (which have their own particular conflicts). Between the culture left behind and the new one, two axes of conflict emerge from the receiving society in which Western culture opposes to Islam: religious differences and treatment of women.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6598
Print ISSN
0026-7910
Pages
pp. 344-365
Launched on MUSE
2011-06-04
Open Access
No
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