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By Tony Gallagher (auth.)

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Sample text

In 1978 the Spanish parliament passed a new constitution which provided for a constitutional monarchy, freedom for political parties, and autonomy for the historic nationalities of the Basques, Catalans and Galicians, and accorded similar rights to the regions. Seventeen autonomous communities were recognised in the constitution, with the Basque Provinces, Catalonia and Galicia being allowed to take the lead in the pursuit of home rule and indigenous language rights as recognition of their status as ‘historic communities’.

A negative stereotype, for example, can be used to justify treating members of the group badly or unfairly, whereas a positive stereotype can be used to justify favourable treatment towards members of that group. There was a time when some psychologists had argued that in order to be socially effective, that is to say convincing, stereotypes had to be based on a ‘kernel of truth’. In other words, at its heart the stereotype would have to be based on some element of fact that appeared to be entirely true, even when a significantly larger framework of beliefs and perceptions that may not be true was built upon this base.

Almost three-quarters of the Spanish population speak Spanish, or Castellian, as their first language, but there is a number of active minority languages, including Catalan, Basque and Galician, which have a territorial specificity. Indeed, it is the territorial specificity that is most interesting in the Spanish example. Lane and Ersson show that in most parts of the country there is a fairly unambiguous identification with the Spanish nation. There are, however, a number of areas with a significant, if minority, level of regional identification, and a small number of areas where regional identification is at least as strong as identification with the central state.

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