Spanish Essays – Barcelona and London
Spanish Essays – Barcelona and London

Spanish Essays – Barcelona and London

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  • Pages: 10 (2741 words)
  • Published: September 2, 2017
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Barcelona and London both attract a batch of immigrants from different topographic points around the universe.

Barcelona and London both attract a batch of immigrants from different topographic points around the universe. This foreign population is distributed in different boroughs of the metropoliss, but there are boroughs where the immigrant population is more of import and seeable than in others. This is the instance in El Raval, in Barcelona, and Camden, in London.

However, it seems that the integrating of this immigrant population as turned out to be more hard in El Raval than in Camden, with its population being ghettoised.

Although the history of both boroughs has a batch of similarities and both were marked by recent mass in-migration, it seems that different elements, such as history and civilization and besides the differences between


the beginnings and types of immigrants, every bit good as their urban developments, led to different types of theoretical accounts in El Raval and in Camden.

The two boroughs of Camden and El Raval, could at first glimpse be thought as similar topographic points. Indeed they have a figure of similarities. Both can be described as multicultural, and popular topographic points, where one can hear all kinds of linguistic communications from all over the universe, and see faces and apparels stand foring all sorts of cultural backgrounds and civilizations.

The in-migration has been in both boroughs a large portion of the local history, reflected in the current proportion of immigrants. Harmonizing to El Pais of 13th June 2003, the per centum of immigrants in El Raval, in 2003, was 47 % , which makes El Raval the borough with the highest proportion of immigrants in

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Barcelona. In Camden, harmonizing to a nose count carried out in 2001 ( ONS, 2001 nose count ) , the proportion of immigrants is really similar, making about 47,8 % of the population of the borough. In both boroughs these immigrants have brought with them their civilizations and traditions, and they have opened stores and eating houses selling merchandises coming from their state of beginning, and other concerns in relation to their position of immigrants as stores offering Internet entree every bit good as inexpensive international calls. All these elements make them really colorful topographic points, and a wonder to the oculus of the passerby.

But the similarity between the two boroughs does non merely lie in their current visual aspect, but besides in their history. Indeed both were at the beginning at the fringe of the metropolis. El Raval was, until the fourteenth century, outside of the walls that were environing the metropolis of Barcelona. It was an unfastened field, with a few stray houses and there was merely a really little town gathered around a monastery. The chief activity was agribusiness. It was so incorporate inside the walls of the metropolis but remained a marginalized portion of the metropolis where constructions that were non wanted in the Centre of the metropolis were built, such as infirmaries or charities. It so changed with the industrialization, which brought the first moving ridge of immigrants from the remainder of Catalonia. The chief activity in the country was the fabric industry. New moving ridges of in-migration arrived at the terminal of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, conveying immigrants from outside Spain.

The following transmutation

of the country arrived when after the civil war and the beginning of the absolutism, new lodging programs led to more adjustment being built in the fringe of the now drawn-out metropolis, with cheaper rents, taking to a batch of people to go forth El Raval and traveling to the outskirts of the metropolis. The industries besides moved to the fringe of the metropolis. The borough emptied and started its debasement procedure ( Sargatal 2001 ) .

Camden enjoyed a similar history, traveling from unfastened Fieldss out of the metropolis to a extremely industrialized topographic point, with the flourishing of the conveyance industry and the building of the canal and of train Stationss ( Withebead 1999: 37 ) . The edifice of railroads and the canal brought the first large moving ridge of immigrants, at the beginning of the nineteenth century: the Irish. Other moving ridges followed including the Grecian Cypriots in the 1930’s ( Denford and Woodford 2003: 14 ) . Another large industry was the Gilbey’s company, foremost selling vino from South Africa and so spread outing to sell all kinds of vino and liquors ( Withebead 1999: 60 ) . But this industrial epoch was ended after the first World War. One of the chief grounds for that was that the roads and lorries provided cheaper and faster transit, than the canals and tracks. The industries small by small abandoned Camden and the people started to go forth the borough, as happened in El Raval, to follow the companies and happen work ( Withebead 1999: 130 ) .

Both boroughs therefore went from being really popular and labour oriented to being emptied and left

to debasement. They both were revived afterwards, although through different agencies. They both had more immigrants coming to settle at that place, from all over the universe. In the instance of El Raval, the betterments started after the terminal of the absolutism, whereas in Camden the betterments started back in the 70’s with the gap of the Camden lock market which truly kick started the resurgence of the country.

But as we are traveling to see in the undermentioned subdivisions, although both countries have been the topographic point of of import migration, they did non germinate in the same manner, and while Camden Town look like a mosaic of people with different manners, faiths, backgrounds and colorss, the integrating of the different cultural groups seems more hard in El Raval.

First of wholly, we saw above that the proportion of immigrants in both boroughs was about indistinguishable, but there is a difference in the manner the assorted cultural groups are represented and the proportion of each of these groups. Indeed in El Raval, there seems to be large prevailing groups of immigrants such as the Moroccan ( 25,39 % ) , the Filipinos ( 25,06 % ) , or the Indians, Pakistani and Bangladeshi ( 17,10 % ) ( Sargatal 2001 ) . Then in smaller proportions comes the Dominican population, and eventually people from different states of the European Union. The fact that they are large groups of immigrants means that there are more opportunities that they form communities, remain together, and do non blend with other present populations. Particularly so, as the biggest communities come from really different civilizations, and are for a large portion

Muslims, which implies different spiritual wonts, but besides different ways of covering with the household and particularly with adult females. Indeed the Muslim adult females are barely seen in El Raval, and when they do travel in the streets, it is to make some shopping but non to discourse or run into friends, as would make adult females from other civilizations, as the Dominicans or even the native Catalan population ( Sargatal 2001 ) . In Spain, the Catholic faith is still rather strong compared to other European states. This fact every bit good as the long history between Spain and the Mores, between the Catholics and the Muslims, might be important when seeking to explicate the intolerance that is by and large stronger towards the Muslims, and more peculiarly the Moroccans. Indeed they are perceived as really different and unwilling to accommodate to the local tradition and civilization ( Gonzalez Enriquez 2002 ) .

Some fear that the loss of devoutness that is endangering Spain might assist fring the roots of the civilization and assist the Muslims to enforce their faith and their civilization ( Capel 2001 ) . Integration for Muslims seems harder, as they non merely are victims of more biass, but likely have more biass themselves against the local civilization.

In Camden the population seems more diversified. The biggest immigrant group, harmonizing to the 2001, is the group of non-British or Irish white people. Even though this is a large group ( 33,5 % ) , this besides represents a batch of different states and civilizations. The 2nd group is the Bangladeshi ( 13,4 % ) and the 3rd one the Africans (

12,6 % ) ( ONS, 2001 nose count ) . Then comes a batch of different groups from all over the universe, with biggest proportions from Ireland, India, China and the Caribbean. This first shows that there are no large cultural groups as in the Raval, which might ease the life together of all theses communities, and lead to a more heterogenous population. This besides shows that the biggest group is really made of people from other Western states which means that the civilizations are less different, and therefore it is easier for these people to incorporate themselves in this new state.

This difference in the composing of the immigrant population besides means differences in the grounds of their presence in their new state, and differences in the categories of people. Indeed, as we saw above, El Raval has a higher proportion of immigrants coming from developing states. This means that the immigrants might hold a higher proportion of people with a deficiency of instruction, or professional accomplishments and with a deficiency of money. Indeed, even if it is now altering with the procedure of gentrification, El Raval has been for some clip the cheapest borough of Barcelona hence pulling the people with less money, who so moved on to other parts of the metropolis when they could afford it ( Sargatal 2001 ) . The deficiency of instruction, the unemployment, and the poorness is likely to do the integrating in a new state more hard. The deficiency of instruction means that it is possibly more hard to understand the civilization or the linguistic communication of the new state, doing it besides hard for the parents

to follow what their kids are making at school. The adolescents populating in this environment of unemployment and poorness, might turn to delinquency as a signifier of rebellion against this society in which their hereafter seems unsure.

In Camden as we have seen, there is a lower proportion of people coming from developing states. Therefore, the opportunities of unemployment, poorness or deficiency of instruction are lower, although existent. Furthermore, the unemployment is far lower in England than in Spain. Indeed, unemployment in England is 4,7 % , whereas Spain had a 10,2 % of unemployment in 2004. This means that the people coming to England and hence to Camden will hold more opportunities and chances of happening a occupation, which facilitates the integrating in the new state. Besides, Camden is non the cheapest borough of London. Cheaper adjustments can be found in other boroughs like Barking. This is hence non the topographic point of landing of destitute people when they arrive in London, as seems to be El Raval.

Finally, the two boroughs’ recent history has evolved otherwise. In El Raval, the procedure of gentrification has begun really late. The redevelopment of El Raval, and the attractive force of higher categories of the population, every bit good as younger and more dynamic and educated immigrants, might turn it into an attractive and cardinal borough of Barcelona. ( Sargatal 2001 ) . So far there has been merely lodging programs, and redevelopments of societal constructions, but no existent program of developing the concerns, or the touristry. Indeed harmonizing to David Harvey ( 1989: 77 ) , postmodernism urbanization is characterised by a market-oriented urbanization, but in El Raval,

there seems to hold been no such developments, which might assist marginalise the population. There are some local concerns. El Raval has seen the creative activity of a batch of stores run by immigrants for their ain communities, as Muslim meatmans, or food market shops offering merchandises from the Caribbean. There are besides shops offering international phone calls or Internet services. But instead than assisting the societal coherence, this type of concerns is instead insulating each of the cultural groups which are present in El Raval. The stores seem to be sole and non to be welcoming the other communities. They are a topographic point where each community can garner with its fellow citizens, but there is no interaction between the different communities ( Sargatal 2001 ) . There are no concerns that might convey new capitals into the borough and pull more middle-class people.

Camden’s instance is in that respect wholly different. First of all, even if these sort of stores run by immigrants exist, such as those run by Grecian Cypriots or Indians, they do non sell entirely merchandises from their states of beginnings. They are food markets, selling all kinds of first necessity merchandises, and merchandises from their place states every bit good as from other states represented in the country. But most significantly, the development of the borough in the last 30 old ages has been based on its market civilizations. Indeed Camden is good known for its different markets. The first of its current markets was the Camden Lock Market, opened in 1973 ( Withebead 1999: 137 ) . It rapidly attracted all kinds of creative persons and craftspeople, which would

make their work during the hebdomad and sell them at weekends, leasing one of the inexpensive stables available at the market. The country started to be revived, attracted all sort of people, with different backgrounds, manners, faiths, and beginnings. Not merely did the country started to pull capitals because of the concern carried out in the markets, but the artistic and musical scene began to boom. It became an entertaining topographic point were people non merely came to shop but to run into and bask walking around amongst the assortment of original merchandises offered on the market. This likely worked as a manner to convey societal coherence, as spectacle and amusement is a great agencies of societal control ( Harvey 1989: 88 ) . Indeed the streets of Camden are a spectacle, every bit good as being colorful they have been the sight for an original look of creativeness: a figure of stores are adorned by elephantine fibre-glass figures in relation with the ware sold or the trade name name: elephantine boots, chairs or fishes can be seen on the walls of stores ( Withebead 1999:140 ) . Camden has besides attracted a batch of companies from the media sector, such as Television channels ( Withebead 1999: 150 )

Indeed in Camden all kinds of people are brought together by the market. A batch of immature professionals choose to populate at that place, for different grounds, as its Bohemian character, its centrality or the fact that it is still cheaper than other topographic points. Tourists from all over the universe are coming to see the market. In Camden, the multicultural society does non intend merely people

coming from different states but besides people with different manners, different backgrounds. All manners can be found in Camden, from Gothic and stone people to flower peoples. With this show of differences, the tolerance seems to go natural. As one of the locals puts it, “it is impossible non to be tolerant, because of all the nationalities, faiths, genders and subcultures present” ( Vestregaard Skot Poulsen and Dlugosch Sonne 2004: 8 ) .

Although looking to be similar boroughs, with both a large proportion of immigrants, Camden and El Raval have in fact had a different recent history and have evolved otherwise, ensuing in two colorful and multicultural but different boroughs.

While El Raval is made up by large communities that seem to remain rather closed and non to blend with the remainder of the population of the borough, Camden has enjoyed a more diversified in-migration. The multicultural population of Camden is non composed by large communities, but instead by persons coming from a batch of different backgrounds, immigrating in an already dynamic borough which has built its individuality around its market.


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Gonzalez Enriquez, C. “La convivencia con los inmigrantes en la provincia de Barcelona.” La Factoria 18 ( 2002 ) .

Harvey, D. ( 1989 )The Condition of Postmodernity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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