The Changing of a Flag and the Changing of a Nation: Meaning-Making in Spain and How a Soccer Team Changed State Identity
35 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2011
Date Written: August 26, 2011
The meaning of the Spanish flag held fascist connotations decades after the oppressive rule of Francisco Franco until its meaning changed in the wake of Spain’s FIFA World Cup victory the summer of 2010. This single event linked multiple communities and their discourses of identity in a competition that spilled onto the political realm. This paper uses an ethnographic comparative discourse analysis of semiotic practices across six autonomous Spanish communities to illustrate the considerable effects of identity politics and the need for a deeper conceptualization of the state. I present my empirical observations and interpretations of discourses through a “semiotic topography” to elucidate the social undercurrent behind contemporary political developments in Spain.
Keywords: Collective Identity Formation, Semiotic Practices, Nationalism, Regional Identity, Spain
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