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 Francos 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 womens 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 genders inter-connectedness with categories of class and ethnicity. An ntergenerational approach, and a focus on the local using a case study of a Catalan village outside the regions 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.
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).