Tweeting the Nation: The Online Construction of Symbolic Boundaries in the Catalan Independence Process

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Grassroots organisations have been pivotal in the Catalan independence process and have used social media intensively to raise national consciousness and mobilise the public. Drawing on theories of symbolic boundaries (Lamont & Molnár, 2002), this paper explores the discursive constructions of national and collective identities of two opposing groups – one pro-independence and one pro-union – and how these are mediated on Twitter in the run up to the second referendum on independence in October 2017. Adopting a discourse-historical approach, analysis suggests that the impact of mediation of the Catalan independence question, whether this media impact is advocating union or independence, contributes to the creation of symbolic boundaries. The paper concludes that the mediated nature of the debate may further exacerbate, motivate and disseminate the construction of difference within the same ‘nation’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-310
JournalJournal of Catalan Studies
Volume3
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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