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Course Description
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Sociology: Cultures Without State (Catalonia)
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
Barcelona, Spain

Subject Area(s) Level(s) Instruction in Credits Contact Hours Prerequisites
Sociology, History 300 English 3 45 N/A


This course wants to explain the culture and history of Catalonia from a Social and Humanistic perspective using different disciplines to give a wide, but specific, understanding of Catalonia in a Spanish, European and Western context.

Comparing Catalonia to other cultures without State (or Government) like Quebec, Scotland, Ireland, the Basque Country and Corsica, students will have a basic understanding of the idea of Nation-Building and State-Building in the West, taking into account the importance of the American and French Revolutions in this process.

And, finally, students will receive a complete vision of the process of construction of the European Union and the International interactions between Nations today using the concept of Globalization and Westernization. Is the European Union a part of the so called Globalization or a negation of this process?

Course Requirements

Mid Term Exam (30%)

It will be a Multiple-choice Exam with 60 questions. Each question will have 4 possible answers of which only one will be correct. There is no penalization for mistakes, that is, in case of doubt student should answer everything, so there is not special penalty if mistake.

Example: Capital of Spain.
a. Madrid
b. Seville
c. Barcelona
d. Bilbao

There is another section in the mid-term exam that is completely different from the first. Students will receive one short article, no more than 5 pages to read in class and write a short (1 page) reflection on the contents of the given reading.

In this section of the exam students will be allowed to use class notes and other materials to write a good essay.

Presentation and Paper (25%)

Students have to read some articles to pass this course, one of them is an article, specially chosen by the student, that will be used as a basis to give a presentation no longer than 15 minutes.

The presentation will consist of two deeply differentiated sections:
a. The first part will deal with the text itself (topics, basic ideas of the author…), always trying to explain what the author wanted to say. Classmates did not read the text.
b. The second part, it will deal with the reaction of the presenter of the reading, that is, ideas; opinions emerged of the reading of the article. In this section students should explain the most important ideas of the text and, at the same time, students should explain their own ideas.
c. This last section is the most interesting, since students will open a short debate about the text in which the presenter will bring two or three questions to talk to people in class.

The paper will consist of 5-6 pages-long. The basic ideas to follow in the writing of the text are:
a. Cover with Title of the article, author, and year if possible.
Information about the Student: Name, last name, semester, class, name of the professor
b. Introduction. One page. Why the student chose this reading, that is, if it is a personal interest, a possible area of study at home (College, Institution…) or if it just something that sounded interesting enough.
c. Body of the Paper. 3 pages. In this section students will organize the basic contents of the reading as well as how was the presentation prepared and why was the presentation based only on some of the ideas depicted by the author.
d. Conclusion. 1 page. In this last section of the paper students will explain their ideas about the text, not the ideas explained by the author. The ideas coming from one reading are always binary: firstly, academic reactions; 2
secondly, personal opinion about the author, the writing and the contents.

Debate and Paper (25%)

Students will read two texts for the debate hold in class. Never these readings are going to be longer than 50 pages, but it is good for students to read and cooperate during the debate because professor will use this cooperation to grade the section of the class called “Attendance and Participation” that represents a 10% of the final grade. At the same time, a special participation in class could represent a special grade (like an extra credit) for those interested in obtain the best grade possible.

During the debate students will be divided into to groups in order to discuss the ideas of the texts. Each group will have one responsible for the organization and the defense of the ideas of each group. Groups will be created during the first week of class using the English System, that is, the groups will not be created in order to create a homogeneous group, in fact, and groups will be organized in terms of number: 50% each group.

The paper about the debate will be noticeably different from that of the Presentation given the importance of the Debate itself. So, students will write a 5-6 page paper but dividing it into two great parts:
a. Cover with Title of the articles, authors, and year if possible.
Information about the Student: Name, last name, semester, class, name of the professor.
b. Introduction. One page. Explain what you knew about the topic before reading the articles.
c. Body of the Paper. 3 pages. This is the longest part of the paper and students should write the basic contents of the readings and explain the personal reaction to these readings.
d. Conclusion. 1 page. This is one of the most important parts of this paper. Students have to describe their own opinion about the readings and what they want to defend during the debate.

Final Exam (20%)

This Exam will consist of 5 questions to pick up one of them in order to write a short essay of 1 page (front and back). The question will have one title and four ideas to follow to write the argument of the answer.

Example: The Spanish Economy
a. How the Spanish Government modernized the Spanish Economy?
b. How this modernization affected to the Spanish Family
c. Now, the Spanish Economy is based on…
d. Conclusion

There is a second part in the Final Exam that consists of only one question that is mandatory. This question is based on one reading that students need to do during the course if they want to pass the subject. This question is not about specific information of the reading but about an interpretative perspective of the question using all the materials that students may have (class notes, other readings…). Hence, students will write a short essay (1 page) about the text given and they will argument they stand for some ideas and not for some others.

Attendance and participation

Students should come to class fully prepared to participate and to cooperate with the professor in order to create a seminar style ambient in class.



-All the papers have to be handed-in in a printed format.
-Hand in the paper one day late means of 10% less in the final grade; two days late 20%, and so on.
-No papers accepted via email
-Font: Times New Roman
-Size: 12
-Bibliography at the end
-There is an office to print paper at “La Casa de Convalescència” that is opened from 1 pm to 3 pm.
-Foot notes: SURNAME, Name, title, Place: Publisher, year.
Example: SMITH, John, A book about nothing, NY: Mr. Publisher, 2000

Mandatory readings

KENNETH BOLLEN, Who are the Spaniards? Nationalism and identification in Spain


Students who cheat in exams will be expelled and penalized for such a behavior. They will loss the grade in that exam and they will have to write an extra paper to pass the course.

Students have to answer the questions of both, multiple choice and final exam, using a blue or black pen, never a pencil or a red pen. Exams written in red pen or pencil will not be graded.

With regard to the final exam and the essay in the mid term, students need to use a clear handwriting. Difficult exams to read (because of the handwriting) will not be graded.


Food is not allowed in class.
Alcoholic drinks are not allowed in class.
There will be a break of 10 minutes.
If one student needs to leave class before time, this student has to say it to the professor.
Students will not leave the classroom during the session.
Students are not allowed to use any type of MP3, Ipod or similar.


1st week
Course Organization

2nd week
Barcelona, Capital of Catalonia
This week will be devoted to the study of the Capital of our Case Study in order to survive in this culture and to show to the students the tension between the different Barcelonan pasts: Mediterranean, Pyrenean, Catalan, Spanish and European.

3rd week
State Building. Antiquity, Medieval and Early Modern
This week is devoted to the study of the Emergence of the First Political and Central Organizations from the mort remote past to the last battles of the Thirty Years War.

4th week
State and Nation Building. Modern
Visit to the City: Modernism and L’Eixample
During these sessions students will spend their time trying to understand how States emerged from 1618 and 1815 in order to increase their control over the “national” population and avoid parallel powers in the “national” territory, focusing in the Spanish situation.

5th week
Autonomies and Spain
Introduction to Catalonia
 In these sessions students will study how Spain is organized today and how is changing now to adapt a political system that was born in 1978 to new necessities, paying special attention to the Catalan case.

6th week
The Basque Country
Movie: La pelota vasca
In these sessions students will study how Spain is organized today and how is changing now to adapt a political system that was born in 1978 to new necessities, paying special attention to the Basque case.

7th week
Mid Term

8th week

9th week
Debate: Is it possible not to be Nationalist?

10th week
Threats for old States: from above and below
This week will be devoted to the study of the process of Globalization and how this process affects Spain and other countries through Immigration, Corporations and other International Organizations that intervene in the Spanish Politics and Economy.
At the same time, we will compare these “threats” to former “threats” like old nationalisms.

11th week
The European Union and Nationalism
These sessions aim to explain how the European Union is dealing with one of its most important problems: Nationalism from Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Corsica and other European nations/regions.

12th week Hand-in Papers
Nationalism: theory and reality
These classes will use everything that students know about nationalism to discuss different theories about nationalism since Fichte, and find out which is the best definition of State, Nation and Nation-State.

13th week
Nationalism in America
These classes are devoted to the study of the nationalism that one can find in America: Quebec, Native Americans in the US and other parts of Latin America and these nationalisms held by Governments.

14th week
Final Exam
Movie: Guerreros

Professor: Antoni Raja-i-Vich
E-mail: (It is good to send one email during the first week just to let the professor know what the student wants or needs).
At the same time, it is interesting to say in the main title the code of the subject, in this case: CAT.
Ex. CAT: question about something.

Meetings: By appointment

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