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Contemporary Wales
Contemporary Wales

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10 Course conclusion

Hugh Mackay

During this course, you have explored many subjects, each of which going some way to demonstrating the qualities that have made Wales the nation it is today.

You will have discovered:

  • how the game of rugby is the major focus of national identification
  • why being Welsh is far more than a simple matter of geography – the culture, the language and other factors all play their part too
  • how the Welsh economy has adapted and evolved as industries thrive, die and are replaced
  • how race and gender are important dimensions of difference in Wales, how policies have addressed them, and the limitations of these policies
  • some key ways in which the Welsh language both unites and divides
  • how the Welsh nationalist movement has played a key role not just in relation to the language and Plaid Cymru politics, but in shaping the Labour Party
  • how labour traditions are deeply ingrained in the politics and culture of Wales
  • how people in Wales, and in the Labour Party, have seen Westminster in different ways, but devolution and the formation of the Welsh National Assembly and its government in 1999 was a major step on the path of a new and transforming relationship
  • the growth in film and television production in Wales, with the S4/C television channel and programmes such as Doctor Who showing the nation in a new, modern light to viewers around the world.

Wales as a nation has become more prominent and its people more confident in their national identification in recent years, particularly with the advent of devolution. However, as you will have read, there are many issues which need to be addressed in order to achieve the ambitions of its leaders. It may be a small part of the United Kingdom, but Wales is a nation with a distinct identity and – literally, with the language - its own voice.