Journal Article

Where extremes meet: Sport, nationalism and secessionism in Catalonia and Scotland


In this essay, we trace the symbolic conundrums of belonging, and of the reconciliation of identities, in the context of Catalan and Scottish sport and politics. Our discussion will commence with a necessarily concise consideration of past academic contentions regarding the national ‘psyches’ which have been argued to shape contemporary notions of identity and politics in Catalonia and Scotland, before turning our attention to the specific role of sport vis-à-vis these ‘psyches’ and the growing clamour for greater political autonomy for each of these stateless nations. Based on evidence drawn from the interaction between sport and politics in the two nations, we argue that secessionism is a liminal field of transformation as it includes what is seen as mutually exclusive sets of relationships (Catalans vs. Spaniards; Scottish vs. British, secessionists vs. unionists/centralists), which at the same time allows subjects to pass from one state to another and occupy them non-exclusively.

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Vaczi, Mariann
Bairner, Alan
Whigham, Stuart

Oxford Brookes departments

Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work


Year of publication: 2019
Date of RADAR deposit: 2019-06-24

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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