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This programme seeks to demonstrate the kinds of analysis a social scientist can bring to the understanding of a complex issue in contemporary society and how far this analysis helps the formulatio...n of relevant policies. The topic chosen is that of defining the basis for a separate Welsh identity. The programme has three distinct sections. The first part offers some evidence for, and expressions of, a separate Welsh identity. These expressions of "Welshness" are diverse in style and sometimes contradictory. The second section of the programme seeks clarification of these issues through the work of one social scientist, Professor Harold Carter, Gregynog Professor of Human Geography at the University College of Wales in Aberystwyth. His contribution is to map the distribution of Welsh speakers as recorded in the census. Therefore his analysis is basically a spatial one, based on language. In the television programme, Professor Carter goes beyond a merely descriptive treatment of the topic to outline what he considers to be the processes which have determined the spatial patterns. As he points out in understanding these processes, an interdisciplinary approach is essential. Our conclusion towards the end of this second section of the programme is that language, although important, is in itself not an adequate basis for defining "Wales". The great majority of the present-day population of Wales do not in fact speak Welsh, but yet still they feel themselves to be Welsh. Therefore, in the third section of the programme we raise the question of what kinds of policies are relevant to the expressed needs of the Welsh people. In pursuing these aspects we talk to Dafydd Ellis Thomas, Member of Parliament of Merioneth who discusses policy implications from the viewpoint of a member of Plaid Cymru, the Welsh National Party.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: D101, Making sense of society
Item code: D101; 31
First transmission date: 09-10-1975
Published: 1975
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:27
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Producer: Graham Turner
Contributors: Harold Carter; R Pryce
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Clarifying 'Welshness'; Distribution of Welsh speakers; Interdisciplinary approach; Policy decisions; Welsh identity; Welsh National Party
Footage description: Shots of Wales - mountains and mines. Male-voice choir singing. Welsh village school, schoolmaster looks at problem of bilingualism. Shots of service in Welsh chapel and more shots of Welsh scenery. Various clips of demonstrations by the Welsh Language Society in Cardiff, Dolgellau etc. Shots of signposts daubed with paint. Clip of investiture of Prince of Wales and counter demonstration. Song by Dafydd Iwan, and clip on holiday homes controversy. Excerpt from Wales - England rugby match. Thomas introduces the question of Welsh identity. Carter begins his analysis of the extent of Welsh speakers from the 1971 census. Various maps illustrate his points, as to areas and numbers of speakers. Further maps look at the decline of Welsh speaking since 1750. Carter looks at the problems of inference from such information. Vox-pop clips on importance of speaking Welsh and its resurgence. Shots of Rhondda valley. Pryce comments on links between language and identity. Thomas stresses the need for bi-lingual institutions, documents etc. Clips of Gwynedd Council and a maths teacher, teaching in Welsh. The importance of control of the media is stressed. Thomas concentrates on the new political structure for Wales as he feels cultural regeneration is based on economic regeneration. Credits.
Master spool number: 6HT/71961
Production number: 00525_2183
Videofinder number: 1689
Available to public: no