An Introduction

  • Alison Wright


One of the most striking impressions when travelling in Spain is the mixture of old and new. Gleaming new factories and blocks of flats stand within a few miles of villages virtually unchanged for hundreds of years. The most up-to-date industrial processes exist side by side with the use of the Roman plough and traditional threshing methods. One can hardly fail, also, to be conscious of the abruptness with which change has hit many parts of Spain. Blocks of flats stand starkly on the edge of towns, surrounded by fields, with none of the subtle gradations from town to countryside which characterise a slower rate of change. Complementary to this is the common sight in Central Spain of unoccupied houses in villages and even on occasion whole villages left empty while their previous occupants seek a new style of life in the towns.


Agricultural Sector Internal Migration Active Population Basque Country Provincial Capital 
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  1. 4.
    See Raymond Carr, Spain 1808–1939 (Oxford, 1966) for a comprehensive background up to the end of the Civil War.Google Scholar
  2. 5.
    The active population has remained low partly because of the demographic age structure and partly because as yet few women are in paid employment. In 1965, the Spanish level of female participation in the active population was lower than in France, Italy, Greece, Portugal and Yugoslavia : see Fundación Foessa, Informe sociológico sobre la situación social de España 1970 (Madrid, 1970).Google Scholar
  3. 7.
    For more detail on internal migration, see especially Alfonso Barbancho, Las migraciones internas españolas (Madrid, 1967)Google Scholar
  4. and Asociación Española de Economía y Sociología Agrarias, Reunion de estudios sobre los problemas de la movilidad de la mano de obra agrícola en España (1967).Google Scholar
  5. Also Fundación Foessa, Estudios sociológicos sobre la situación social de España 1975 (Madrid, 1976) Chapter 1.Google Scholar
  6. 9.
    Victor Pérez Díaz, Estructura social del campoy exodo rural (Madrid, 1966).Google Scholar
  7. 13.
    See Amando de Miguel, Manual de estructura social de España (Madrid, 1974) Chapter 2.Google Scholar
  8. 14.
    For a survey of political events in Spain in this period, see George Hills, Spain (London, 1970) ; alsoGoogle Scholar
  9. Max Gallo, Spain Under Franco (London, 1973) and publications by Ruedo Ibérico, Paris.Google Scholar

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© Alison Wright 1977

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  • Alison Wright

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