Transmitting Identity: Radio in Barcelona

Nancy Morris


This examination of radio broadcasting in Barcelona, Spain explores how the characteristics of radio and its embeddedness in daily life may contribute to the maintenance of collective identity. Three months of monitoring Barcelona radio stations for markers of neighborhood, regional (Catalonian), Spanish and European identity revealed that Barcelona radio listeners hear little reinforcement of themselves as Europeans, continuous reminders that they are part of Spain, frequent allusions to the Catalonia region, and varied references to their town or neighborhood. The study indicates that radio, as a background medium, is suited to conveying the everyday messages that underpin collective identity.

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