The tension between the will to build a collective national identity and the increasing diversity of today’s societies is one of the main challenges facing nation‐states today. Catalan society, being no exception, also faces many challenges as diasporic identities and transnational loyalties proliferate, weakening both citizens’ roots and their need to belong. The present article aims to identify situations and social spaces of discrimination and explicit/implicit racism, existing mechanisms and responses aimed at avoiding and dealing with these situations, and the groups they affect most in Catalan society. Through a participatory research, 23 focus groups were carried out—of between six and 12 participants—in eight territories (Pàmies et al., 2020). Results reveal diverse areas of discrimination, ranging from the violation of civil and political rights to that of economic, social, and cultural rights. The situations described and named by some as examples of micro‐racism complicate the sense of belonging for many citizens, challenging the real possibility of achieving a pluricultural collective identity. Thus, to promote belonging and build a common public culture with which everyone feels identified, as promoted by official speeches, it is necessary to recognize plurality and diversity and promote citizen participation—and representation—in devising public actions, as well as encourage interactions that emphasize all common and shared aspects in a context conditioned by the reactive fragmentation of identity politics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-142
Number of pages11
JournalSocial Inclusion
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2022


  • Catalan identity
  • Catalonia
  • collective identity
  • diversity
  • pluricultural identity
  • sense of belonging


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