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Document Type

Feature Article

Publication Date

Spring 5-1-2008

Publication Title

Washington University Undergraduate Research Digest: WUURD 3(2)


Peer Editor: Morgan Grossman-McKee; Faculty Mentor: Sunita Parikh

Immigration is a contentious and timely topic in Spain, a country which until recently was known for its high levels of emigration. This sudden change has produced cultural responses throughout the country, particularly in large urban areas with heavy immigration such as Madrid and Barcelona. Written and oral interviews were conducted with teachers and education officials in these two cities to study how educational paradigms have been changed by immigration. This study also analyzed official documents on immigrant integration. The data showed that important differences existed between the school systems’ approach to how an immigrant becomes a member of society. In Barcelona, a much greater emphasis was given to linguistic compe- tency in moving up the social ladder. However, the school systems shared important reasons for why an immigrant must become a member of society. Both societies (and their respective school systems) seem to place a great importance on integration for the sake of social cohe- sion. The differences in methods for attaining this cohesion seem to stem from distinct configurations of their respective national identities.

From the Washington University Undergraduate Research Digest: WUURD, Volume 3, Issue 2, Spring 2008. Published by the Office of Undergraduate Research.

Henry Biggs, Director of Undergraduate Research and Associate Dean in the College of Arts & Sciences; Joy Zalis Kiefer, Undergraduate Research Coordinator, Co-editor, and Assistant Dean in the College of Arts & Sciences; Kristin Sobotka, Editor.


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