Ordinary Conceptualisations of Welshness and Basqueness

  • Sophie Williams


This chapter considers different conceptualisations of Welshness and Basqueness and key contributing factors as viewed through the eyes of focus group participants. It examines the applicability of a popular continuum of identity and explores whether Welshness and Basqueness are considered open or closed identities, their permanence and durability in the eyes of their identifiers and their acceptance of the concept of becoming or ceasing to be Welsh or Basque. It considers the importance and everyday salience of identity, any associated responsibilities and obligations, and problematises the multiplicity of identity in geographical and linguistic terms. In both cases, the intangibility of identity is highlighted, alongside its lack of importance and salience on an everyday basis. The notion of a popular continuum of identity, wherein someone may be considered more or less Welsh or Basque than another person, is largely substantiated. The ‘Self’ and the ‘Other’ paradigm is a key feature, as is the lack of multiplicity of identity, despite the popularly held notion that people experience an identity in different ways depending on different circumstances. Overall, a great deal of similarity is found between the two cases, when their superficial differences would suggest that this would not be the case.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sophie Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.Office for National StatisticsNewportWales

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