Laia Balcells


Curriculum vitae

Department of Government

Georgetown University

Mass Schooling and Catalan Nationalism

Journal article

Laia Balcells

Semantic Scholar DOI


APA   Click to copy
Balcells, L. (2013). Mass Schooling and Catalan Nationalism.

Chicago/Turabian   Click to copy
Balcells, Laia. “Mass Schooling and Catalan Nationalism” (2013).

MLA   Click to copy
Balcells, Laia. Mass Schooling and Catalan Nationalism. 2013.

BibTeX   Click to copy

  title = {Mass Schooling and Catalan Nationalism},
  year = {2013},
  author = {Balcells, Laia}


In 1659, the kingdoms of France and Spain signed the Treaty of Pyrenees, a peace treaty by which a piece of the Spanish territory became part of France. Since then, Catalan identity has persisted on both sides of the border. However, while this identity is today politically and socially relevant in Spain, it is not in France. This article argues that this variation can be explained by the characteristics of the historical process of the spread of mass literacy in each of these countries. Catalan national identity is not salient in French Catalonia because the first generation of mass literates became so under French rule. In contrast, the nonexistence of a scholastic revolution in Spain prior to the beginning of the 20th century allowed for the successful sowing of a Catalan national identity during the first decades of that century. The fact that mass literacy took place in Spanish Catalonia during a period of Catalan nationalist upheaval led to the endurance of this identity.

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