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Street names, politics of memory and social debate in Republican Barcelona (1931–1936): A theoretical reflection and case study

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Public memory is an exceptional stage for social dialogue regarding the values and principles of a political community. One of its main axes is street names, which can be considered an authentic tapestry of urban memory. This article interprets street names as a communicative act of transmission and debate regarding historical and identity-based narratives. In describing a theoretical and methodological approach for studying street names and other contexts of public memory, it is argued that the nomenclature is the fruit of political and social practices in which many agents take part and debate the community’s past, present and future. This interpretation is based on a study of symbolic transformation of the map of Barcelona during the Second Republic and an analysis of the policies of memory, the roles of civil society in the public memory of the time and citizens’ reactions to the new historical accounts reflected therein.
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Keywords: Barcelona; Second Spanish Republic; historical culture; memory; nomenclature; public memory; street names

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Publication date: March 14, 2012

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  • The Catalan Journal of Communication and Cultural Studies (CJCS) is committed to publishing research and theoretical articles in the fields of media studies, popular culture and cinema, public relations and advertising studies, social communication, new media, language uses in the media, communication and cultural policies, social and national identities, gender studies, sports and leisure, tourism and heritage, among other related issues. CJCS publishes double blind peer-reviewed articles and its aims and scope cover not only Catalan media and cultural systems but also other social contexts.
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