Fundació Jaume Bofill Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC)

Thinking about future challenges of education in Catalonia

Who builds identities? The political crisis in schooling

About the speaker

Salvador Cardús

22/11/06 07.30 pm

Full Professor in Sociology in the Autonomous University of Barcelona?s Sociology and Political Sciences Faculty

Audio (in Catalan)

Catalonia has a long tradition of receiving people from abroad and integrating them, but each integration is different, and the enriching of the country is also different. With each wave of immigration that has arrived, there have been discussions about the Catalan identity, its defence and whether it is in crisis. Thus, maybe we should forget about the old idea of identity, designed for individuals and closed, homogenous societies, where everyone was fairly similar to everyone else around them. Currently, we are both Catalans and also anti-globalisation, or university professors who need to adapt to internationalisation... We have simultaneous and solid identities, and often find closer links to those things from abroad than those from home.

The current identity has more to do with the container (identity is configured by the place you find yourself, to which you have to adapt) rather than the content (the place where you were born).

The school has always been that which has created national identity, but this function of the school is currently in crisis for three reasons: the loss of the school's authority as the broadcaster of a tradition of knowledge; the need to create flexible individuals, prepared for globalisation; and the political class's failure to stand up for their values. If we include immigration, the crisis becomes even greater, as, if to date it had been resolved, the current multicultural models being applied no longer help matters, but only make them worse, given that other cultures cannot be kept apart from the local culture (ie, that of the container) and it is useless trying. The school can maintain a community's identity as a starting point, or as part of the process, but the definitive aim has to be to make the identity of the local country, the container, primordial.

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